Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This Igbo Man Wants to Rule Holland

His name is Thaddeus A. Osuji. [And his title is ‘Chief’. Trust Nigerians: he must have a title. He’s even modest: back home he would be Chief (Dr) Honourable, Comrade (Engineer) Pastor Thaddeus A. Osuji. Osuji is from Amaoji Ogbe Mbaise, Imo state]. He’s lived and worked in Den Haag, the Netherlands since 1988

During the March 2010 elections, Chief Osuji contested under Unie van Democraten (Union of Democrats). He wanted to be a representative in the municipal council. He did not win but came close to it. He was number eight on the list of his party and it had fewer than eight wins.

The most important thing is not that Osuji lost. What matters is that he contested and came close to winning. Osuji travelled 5,000 kilometres from Nigeria to be able to take part in fair elections. Would Osuji have been allowed to contest if he simply travelled 500 kilometres from his village—and found himself in Zamfara or Oyo State? Or even in Anambra State next-door? Would he not have been shown the way back to his village? The Nigerian constitution allows non-indigenes who have lived in a place to contest in that place. The constitution allows it but the politicians don’t. Democracy is a journey. But when will Nigeria reach a commendable bus stop?

Better luck next time, Chief Osuji.

No comments: