Buhari and Nigeria’s Election; A Rejoinder to Adam Nossiter [New York Times] By Charles Idem

Hi Mr. Nossiter,

I trust this mail meets you well.

I am a Nigerian reader of the times and I just read your article on Nigeria’s imminent elections. I think you did a great job in contextualising what is arguably the central issue of the vote. However, I found some of your comments disparaging, such as where you refer to “the tumultuous jumble of Nigerian history” or “Mr Buhari….vaguely promising greater security, prosperity…”

The former comment seems rather disdainful and unnecessarily so given that most countries across the world experienced ‘tumultuous’ times in their histories. Referring to it as you did makes it seem as though ours was a peculiar brand of tumult.  Given my modest knowledge of world history, I don’t think this is the case, hence I would expect journalists like you to be fairer when making such comments.

Regarding, the latter comment, I think you could have been a bit more objective. You correctly alluded to the fact that the General did not lay out elaborate plans on how he would combat the security or economic issues. But could he really have done that at a such a massive outdoor rally? In my opinion, that was no stage for a detailed presentation of policy plans. Rather, it was a forum to galvanise his supporters ahead of the elections. Again, I think this was an unfair portrayal.

All said, it was a brilliant piece and I think it was great that you recognised the General’s “methodical approach” to dealing with the extremists.

Thanks for an insightful article. I really enjoyed it hence the compulsion I felt to reply.

Finally, pardon my quick fingers for clicking send before I completed the mail.

Best wishes,

Charles Idem