Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an award-winning Nigerian author, has endorsed Peter Obi, an ex-governor and presidential aspirant of the Labour Party, ahead of the 2023 Nigerian presidential elections.
Adichie made her intentions known in a video she posted on her official Instagram page on February 16th, 2023.
In her statement, she notes that Obi has changed the political landscape in Nigeria, inspiring an organic grassroots movement of support from people all over the country. This kind of enthusiasm, she suggests, is essential for a leader to be effective in governing a nation.
Adichie also emphasizes the importance of a leader’s character, pointing out that Obi possesses many of the characteristics required for effective leadership. She commends Obi for his willingness to listen to others, his humility, and his genuine desire to serve Nigerians. She also observes that Obi has a clear vision of what Nigeria should be and that he is comfortable traveling across the country.
She encouraged Nigerians to take action by supporting Obi. She urges voters to consider a leader’s character and capacity for effective leadership rather than their ancestry or location.
With the upcoming elections just around the corner, Adichie’s words serve as a timely reminder of the importance of wise voting and of the impact that a good leader can have on a nation.
In the video she said this;
“The basis of my support for Peter Obi is because I think that he will be a very good president. I’m an Igbo woman, and I am proud of him in the way that one is proud of a person who has achieved something and who also happens to be from one’s place. But there are also many other humans who I admire or respect or I am proud of, but I would never vote for them for president because I don’t think they would make good presidents. So, the basis of my support for Peter Obi is because I think that he will make a very good president.
“I think that it’s unfortunate that we often turn our opponents into caricatures, and I don’t think that’s necessary. What’s important to think about is not how can we demonize the opponent, but rather who is the best. Peter Obi is by far the best.
“One thing that is so significant is how he has completely changed the political landscape in Nigeria. We have never had this kind of organic grassroots enthusiasm from people all over the country. And most of all, we’ve never had the sense of hope. I’ve always believed that there’s nothing more essential to the human spirit than hope. People might say cynically that hope doesn’t win elections, but actually, it does because hope propels people. Hope gets people out to vote, hope gets people to believe in the government, hope gets people to feel carried along by their leaders.
“I think it’s wonderful to have manifestos, but the reality of leadership is that when you get in there, sometimes your manifestos and your ideas don’t quite align with the reality of what you find. While I think it’s good to think of the ideas that potential leaders have, I think it’s even more important to think about the sort of person they are because increasingly, I think that leadership is really about character.
“I say that because it’s your character that determines how you go about solving a problem and so the questions I think are important to ask are: Is this person the person who listens? Because listening is essential to leadership. Does this person have an arrogant attitude to leadership, or does this person think of leadership as service? Does this person seem to know what life is like for ordinary people? Does this person talk to ordinary people? Does this person seem sincere? Is this person intellectually curious? Are they willing to learn? Does this person have that mark of wisdom, and by that, I mean the ability to say ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I am sorry’ – essential marks of wisdom? Does this person have a cohesive sense of what Nigeria should be? Is this person comfortable going to all parts of Nigeria? Is this person desperate to be president, or does this person want to be president out of a sense of love as well? Really, these are the things I think about when I think about Pter Obi, and it’s the reason that I support him.
“For me personally, where the president comes from has just never been that important. What I want is a president who will lead Nigeria well. Peter Obi is unique and singular in his ability to create this kind of resounding hope. It’s never before happened in the history of this country. I think it is significant. I think it means something, and I think we need to vote wisely.”