The Foundations of Nigeria’s Democracy: A Litmus Test for the International Community’s Integrity.


The Foundations of Nigeria’s Democracy: A Litmus Test for the International Community’s Integrity.

Esteemed President Biden, distinguished members of the US Department of State, and honourable members of the international community,

I write this article in response to Chimamanda Adichie’s letter to the President of America, which has generated much debate and stirred emotions. As a clergyman, management consultant, public affairs analyst, and someone with a background in law, I aim to address the significance of respecting Nigeria’s democracy and upholding its constitution while emphasizing the international community’s responsibility in safeguarding these values.

First and foremost, let us remember that everyone has the right to voice their opinion and express their sentiments. However, when it comes to renowned personalities such as Adichie, we must dissect their views critically, considering the context and potential biases.

Bestselling author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at HCLS Miller Branch.

Chimamanda Adichie openly supported Peter Obi, a candidate who shares her regional origin. While there is no inherent issue with championing a candidate from one’s region, it is paramount to remain objective when addressing matters of national significance.

The election winner, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is lauded as a strategic, hard-working leader with an unrivalled record of transforming Lagos and constructing a robust economy. His proficiency in cultivating successful leaders and business owners across Nigeria is unmatched.

In a democracy as sprawling and multifaceted as Nigeria, encompassing an impressive 176,606 polling units, it is a quixotic pursuit to expect a pristine electoral process. The sheer size and complexity of the nation present logistical challenges that inevitably result in certain irregularities. However, the pivotal question we must grapple with is whether these anomalies were significant enough to undermine the legitimacy of the election’s outcome. In addressing this conundrum, we turn to the Doctrine of Substantial Compliance, a legal principle often invoked in such situations.

The Doctrine of Substantial Compliance posits that, in certain circumstances, minor deviations from legal or procedural requirements should not nullify an otherwise valid outcome as long as the core objectives of the law or procedure have been satisfied. Applying this doctrine to Nigeria’s electoral process, we must examine the anomalies reported and determine whether they were so egregious as to thwart the primary goals of a free, fair, and transparent election. What is substantial in the eyes of the losing camp may be inconsequential to the election outcome.

One must carefully weigh the irregularities against the broader context of Nigeria’s democratic landscape, taking into account the considerable progress the country has made in recent years. We must also consider the vast number of polling units where the electoral process unfolded without significant issues and contrast this with the instances where irregularities occurred.

While it is crucial to scrutinize and address any shortcomings in the electoral process, we must resist the temptation to magnify these imperfections and allow them to overshadow the entirety of the democratic exercise. Instead, we should endeavour to learn from these experiences, refine our electoral processes, and strengthen our democratic institutions. Nigerian democracy is passing the most significant test since the beginning of the 4th Republic. Like America survived January 6th 2021, Nigeria will move past May 29th, 2023, to Inaugurate her new President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Vice, Kashim Shettima.

As we evaluate the legitimacy of Nigeria’s election outcomes, we must bear in mind the Doctrine of Substantial Compliance and assess the extent to which the anomalies reported may have impacted the overall integrity of the electoral process. In doing so, we can ensure that our focus remains on upholding the principles of democracy, justice, and the rule of law, while simultaneously nurturing a more robust and resilient democratic system for future generations.

Furthermore, allegations of voter suppression in the eastern parts of Nigeria, where nearly 100% voter turnout was reported in some instances, call into question the credibility of the process in those regions. The international community must recognize that equity and fairness must be preserved in all aspects of an election, including scrutinizing such irregularities.

The Doctrine of Consequences, a legal principle that emphasizes the practical consequences of a legal decision, compels us to examine the ramifications of invalidating an election result based on a rigid interpretation of Section 134. In doing so, we must weigh the potential consequences, such as political instability, public discontent, and the erosion of trust in democratic institutions, against the benefits of adhering to the strict letter of the law. This assessment should be guided by a balanced approach that upholds the underlying principles of democracy while considering the real-world implications of such a decision.

In addition, it is crucial to address the attempts by some political opponents to tarnish the image of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu by raising allegations of criminal misconduct, despite the absence of any criminal convictions. The international community must ask whether it is appropriate or ethical for such claims to be perpetuated without legal evidence. One possible avenue for comparison is the concept of statutes of limitations in American law, which sets a time limit on pursuing legal action in some instances. Although not directly applicable to the Nigerian context, the principle behind the statute of limitations underscores the need to balance the pursuit of justice with the importance of providing closure and finality in legal matters.

It is vital for the international community to be mindful of these complexities when assessing the Nigerian electoral process and to remain vigilant against the potential misuse of legal provisions for political gain. By fostering a deeper understanding of the nuances involved in Nigeria’s democratic system and its challenges, we can work together to promote fairness, justice, and the rule of law in Nigeria and around the world.

Like a masterful playwright, Adichie weaves a narrative that captures the attention of her audience. However, as the curtains rise on the world stage, the international community must refrain from swaying by the dramatic allure of such stories. Instead, they must ensure that Section 1(2) of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution is revered and executed without emotion. This section states, “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any person or group of persons take control of the Government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except following the provisions of this Constitution.”

While engaging in open and constructive dialogue about Nigeria’s democracy and electoral process is vital, the international community must remain impartial and just in addressing these concerns. Upholding Nigeria’s democracy and constitution is a litmus test of the international community’s character and integrity.

As Nigeria charts its course into the future, let us — as Nigerians and members of the global community — endeavour to uphold the tenets of democracy and the rule of law. May our actions and decisions be guided by justice, fairness, and the relentless pursuit of truth.

With sincerity,
Abraham Great

If you enjoyed this article and want to dive deeper into the world of politics, leadership, and personal development, visit my website at For more real-time insights, follow me on Twitter @abrahamgreat and subscribe to my YouTube channel, Abraham Great, where I regularly post insightful videos. Don’t forget to share this article with others who might find it valuable, and let’s continue making a difference together!

Leave your thought here