Opinion: 13 things Mandela would have done if he was a Nigerian

by Darasimi Oshodi


He would have tried (and might have succeeded) to tinker with his country’s constitution to elongate his time in office perpetually.

Was Nelson Mandela a man from our clime? Was he truly African? He definitely did not think or act like an African. He looked like he came from another world. He exhibited characteristics that you would hardly find in an African leader and that is why he is respected the world over. He was a true statesman, a man of integrity, a man of peace, the father of a nation, a bridge builder, a visionary, a selfless personality, a man who knows how to connect with the people, a man who lived for the people and who will continually be in the hearts of people the world over.

This post is a tribute to this extraordinary person. It is my own way of showing how much he was different from the rest of us in Africa and particularly, our politicians in Nigeria. The following, therefore, are my thoughts on how he might have acted if he was a Nigerian.

If Nelson Mandela was a Nigerian:

  • He would have spent more than one term in office as president.
  • He would have tried (and might have succeeded) to tinker with his country’s constitution to elongate his time in office perpetually.
  • He would have found a way to get back at a particular ethnic group for the years he spent in incarceration.
  • He would have set up a sham truth and reconciliation commission.
  • He would have made himself the life patron of the African National Congress (ANC).
  • If he eventually left office, his home would be the venue of different political meetings where fates of election candidates would be determined.
  • He would have installed his crony or a puppet in office as his successor.
  • He would have spoken against the administration of succeeding presidents.
  • He would have denied his health condition or the cause of his son’s death (when he died of AIDS in 2005) but instead would have provided various cover-up stories.
  • His children would have been made ministers.
  • He would have asked to be flown out of the country for medical treatment.
  • An expatriate company would have built a palatial mansion for him as a retirement gift.
  • He would never have retired from public life (that’s actually a strange concept to Africans). He would be seeking relevance by all means. Ironically, the great Madiba was relevant till death and still is even in death. He never sought relevance but he could not be ignored. He was venerated. He was loved. He was celebrated.

Nelson Mandela was indeed a rare breed. He has played his part on the stage of life and has now bowed out. Let me end this post with some of the comments that trailed his death.

President Obama: “A man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.”

Bill Clinton: “I will never forget my friend Madiba.”

Richard Branson: “Today we lost not only a great man; we also lost one of the world’s greatest leaders.

Bill Gates: “Every time Melinda and I met Nelson Mandela, we left more inspired than ever. His grace and courage changed the world. This is a sad day.”

Samuel L. Jackson: “Never met a better person in my life than Nelson Mandela. My sympathy to his family & his country.”


This article was published with permission from Omojuwa.com

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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