To the President-Elect of the United States

The President-Elect,

It's traditional to start notes like these by congratulating you and by extension the American people on your ascension to the Presidency, but I suspect that that would not be a welcome idea. Not to you, obviously, or even a majority of the American people – after all majority rules in democracy and that has led to your Presidency – but to some of your fellow citizens, and because my mother taught me better than to throw fuel (you'd say gasoline I think) on fire, I'll just skip that part.

I want to sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. This thanks belongs not to you as an individual but to you as a representative of the collective consciousness that is the people of the United States of America. The collective consciousness that gave me, and the world, the most entertaining election cycle we've seen in years on the grandest stage possible. By my count, you delivered 18 months of unadulterated American style reality-TV-gone-awry entertainment free of charge to adoring fans all around the world and I salute you for that.

America is the leader of the Free World, it has to be; every political movie, television show and novel I've ever read went to great pains to point that out, they can't all be lying. Your nation has a reputation for being the most developed democracy in civilized society. In fact, preaching your mantra of democracy and carrying the gospel of freedom to the poor benighted nations of the world is something you're famous for. So the impression we're all left with is that the American democratic system is damn near infallible. Thank you for correcting that impression and proving that after 240 years of independence, several internal conflicts and crises, the United States of America is just as bad as us 'failing/failed African states.'

It was interesting to note that we're not the only ones who can be clannish. It was righteous, even, to realize that at least Nigerians (and most Africans at that) have the honesty to come out and own their biases. We choose leaders not based on who will best serve the needs of our countries but based on their religious and tribal affiliation. We are willing to spill blood, both ours and others, not for who'll change our country and end the cycle of desperation most of our citizens find themselves, but for something so vague and ephemeral as tribal or religious pride. Americans, we thought, with high-minded ideals and political parties that actually stood for something were different. That is until late 2015, when we realized that you're just like us, that your highfalutin ideas were nothing more than rhetoric,that the terms 'Republican' and 'Democrat' like the sister 'terms' conservative and liberal were nothing more than lines drawn in sand by people who rarely understood what they claimed to be standing for. Turns out there really isn't that much difference between Americans and Nigerians, who knew?

By the way, have I thanked you for revealing just how bad your education system is? See I used to think that the expelled fecal matter we serve as education in these parts meant that our people couldn't be globally competitive, that it would take intense rehabilitation for one to unlearn the regurgitated excrement we learnt in our schools and learn something that would enable us contribute effectively on the global level. Boy was I wrong? Turns out the average political thug in Port Harcourt is just as learned as his counterpart in the United States. Say a few key words and both are ready to plumb their well of anger and hate in the defense of their chosen leader. So, mister Minister of Education, I take back all the nasty thoughts, tweets and Facebook posts I send your way on a daily basis.

And finally, Great President (if you do use that title, I'll be collecting royalty) whose ascendancy we all watched with bated breaths, I must thank you and your people for proving once and for all that Africa is not the only home to dictators and demagogues. Watching your rise in a time when most of our nations have rid themselves of that particular pestilence, was one of the things that made paying for data worth it. The only thing I looked forward to and did not get the opportunity to see was Zimbabwe's strong man weighing in on the elections, that to quote American teenagers, would have been so totally completely worth it.

Let me end this by paraphrasing your outgoing President and probably one of the most depressed people in all of America right now, Barack Obama; America is a great nation and you can be proud of the progress you've made. You've strived to overcome divisions and turn America's diversity into a source of strength. You've worked hard to improve the lives of your family and to build the largest economy in North America. Now you have the opportunity to help write the next chapter in America's progress. When elections are free and fair, it is the responsibility of all citizens to help keep the peace no matter who wins. Successful elections and democratic progress will help America meet the urgent challenges you face today. Today I urge all Americans, across all political, economic and geographical groups to keep America one. And in this task of advancing the security, prosperity and human rights of all Americans you will continue to have a friend and partner in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


An Appreciative Nigerian.

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