My Father, Nigerian Political Fighter

New York Times contributor Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani reflects on her father's legacy of political action. 

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As the daughter of a tax accountant by day and a political freedom fighter by night, New York Times writer and author of the novel I Do Not Come to You by Chance Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani is predisposed to see injustice. Now as an adult, she remembers her father's actions and views them as a catalyst for the change she's meant to effect in her home country of Nigeria.

Over the years, I watched my father, who ran an accounting firm by day, embroil himself in one fight for justice after another, causes that were technically none of his business.

The most famous of his battles was against the government of Imo State, which he sued for unconstitutionally increasing the number of local government areas — a ploy to gain more votes and to receive more money from the federal government.

Back then, in the early '80s, this sort of activism was unprecedented. Relatives arrived in contingents to express their alarm, but their attempts to dissuade my father only ended with his yelling: “What they’ve done is wrong!”

His legal victory over the government stole local headlines. It also attracted the ire of the powers that be. They found a perfect outlet for their fury in my mother, who worked in the local government.

Read Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's entire piece at the New York Times.

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