President Biden, Tchiani Is A Lesser Evil Than Tinubu
Dear President Biden, Tchiani Is a Lesser Evil Than Tinubu
By SKC Ogbonnia
August 21, 2023
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500.
Dear President Biden,
Let me begin by commending your tireless interest in African affairs, which dates to the time immemorial. We remember your enduring track record on civil rights, as well as broad democratic credentials. We remember your passionate speech against the apartheid South Africa at the U.S. Senate floor in 1986. The world still remembers the instance you charged America not to “become part of South Africa’s problem”, but to remain their solution. You implored your people not to impose themselves. You couldn’t have been more eloquent when you stated during the speech that the American “favourites” in South Africa must be “the people that are being repressed by an ugly white regime.”
Mr. President, there is no doubt that your innate knack for democracy prompted you to support President George W. Bush to invade Iraq in 2002. You would later call this move your worst political decision! One can also assume that similar democratic principle is tempting you to align with Bola Tinubu of Nigeria to invade Niger Republic.
Dear President Biden, let me appeal for a pause here…
Staring at you is an avoidable boobytrap to a political infamy of pyrrhic proportion. The gist is that, if your support of Bush to invade Iraq was a monumental mistake, endorsing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) under the leadership of Mr. Bola Tinubu to invade Niger Republic begs a mortal sin. To begin with, the apparent embrace of the ECOWAS leader by the West is polar-opposite to everything the United States of America under Joseph R. Biden stands for.
As you ought to know, Tinubu’s path to power is not different from a classic coup d’état. A close parrel in the recent American history is the unfortunate event of January 6, 2021, where President Donald Trump attempted to usurp the power of incumbency to cling to power. The world saw it for what it was, prompting me to publish the piece: “Coup In America: Why Trump Must Be Impeached Again.” Neither you nor the U.S. Congress needed to be told. Not only was Trump impeached for the attempted coup, but the Americans have also continued to prosecute him for the crime.
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, the common optics is that you are caught in a web of double standard in the case of Africa’s Bola Tinubu. This is a man who, as a sitting national leader of a ruling party, grabbed power by colluding with state agencies in a flawed election. The West is also aware that the said exercise was characterized by Tinubu’s pattern of violent extremism, including thuggery, and political assassinations. Needless to drum his well-documented shady background, which includes fake biodata, a corruption profile of “international dimension”, and connections to illicit drug trafficking in the United States of America. These shameless infractions are definitively more immoral and more undemocratic than the shenanigans of Donald J. Trump.
Of course, there was a wave of global campaign to place Tinubu squarely where he belongs. In the piece, “Why The World Must Resist The Tinubu Coup”, published March 3, 2023, I joined to alert the international community that imposing the man against the wishes of a vast majority of the Nigerian people was to smash a Pandora box of an unimaginable crisis. I concluded then that “Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a threat to world peace and must be stopped.”
Sir, today, the new Nigerian “president” has turned his critics into instant prophets. In a blatant attempt to hang onto an office that remains in dispute, Mr. Tinubu is instigating crisis in all fronts. The most hypocritical is the current quagmire in Niger Republic that is indeed threatening the world piece.
The issue at stake, remember, is that General Abdourahamane Tchiani of Niger Republic seized power through a palace coup d’état. Suddenly, Bola Ahmed Tinubu—an ageless violent extremist who broke all manners of constitutional order to “snatch” power and who continues to show no regard for the rule of law while in office—wants to lead the world to “restore constitutional order in Republic of Niger.” Clearly, the world is faced with a case of a brigand posing as a forest guard!
Now, consider that leadership is contingent upon the environment. Also consider the objective fact that the antecedents of Tchiani of Niger Republic before gaining power are by far more moral than those of Tinubu of Nigeria. Follow that with the common knowledge why Africans tend to resort to military coups. Combine such implications with a trending reality that, unlike the dictator in Niger Republic, the one grandstanding as a democrat in Nigeria is in a pace for a place in Guinness World Records for assembling the most corrupt regime in the human history. There and then explains some of the factors why Tchiani is popular with his people while Tinubu remains a repugnant pariah, generally seen around Africa as an illegitimate president cum imperial puppet.
Mr. President, the gospel truth is that the stout opposition by the Nigerian people to military intervention in Niger Republic is not because of any preference to military rule. Indeed, my people strongly advocate a democratic system. The apparent problem is that Mr. Bola Tinubu, the primary instigator of the conflict, lacks legitimacy and credibility.
It is also necessary to state without equivocation that the Nigerian people still treasure our long-standing bilateral ties with Western nations, particularly the United States. But it is equally imperative to remind here that Africa has become very sophisticated. Any perception of exploitation or double standard by the West is an instant boost to the growing popularity of Russia in the continent.
The solution is simple. It lies in the genius of your epoch-making speech on the Apartheid South Africa cited at the beginning of this letter. It demands that your “favourites” in Nigeria are the Nigerian people. These Nigerian people are anxious for a democracy in which their president is truly elected by the people. This explains why all their “eyes are on the Nigerian Judiciary”—not the Niger Republic. These your very favourites simply want to ensure that the presidential election tribunal can rule in line with the Constitution and the extant electoral laws. They also want those who subverted the will of the people to be held to account, the way the Americans have held Trump to account. The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, the onus is on you to truly stand with these Nigerian masses.
I extend my best wishes to you and your family!
Dr. SKC Ogbonnia