New book draws parallels with Nigerian elections

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A new novel by award-winning Nigerian novelist Ayòbámi Adébáyò offers a vision of what is at stake as Nigerians head to the polls in about a fortnight.

Tensions are already high in the country, as almost 100 million Nigerians prepare to choose their next president, as well as hundreds of other elected officials.

Adébáyò’s book, A Spell of Good Things, takes a close look at politics in Nigeria through the eyes of a teenage boy from a poor family and a young female doctor from a rich family.

It draws parallels with politicians in the country, who the author says don’t emerge with much credit.

“That is reflected in what is happening right now. People literally cannot get cash out of the bank even though they have money in the bank… what many people have resorted to is having to buy money, it’s ridiculous,” she told BBC Newsday.

The book starts with a tailor rejecting campaign offerings from a politician.

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Quote Message: It’s a trade… people get these things and then they don’t have good roads, they don’t have hospitals, they don’t have good education and the politicians – once they get in – feel like they’ve paid you for the next four years.

Quote Message: That’s what she’s rejecting at the beginning of the book. She would rather have somebody in government who is ready to do something she’s interested in.”
Adébáyò also says the novel explores the reality of living in a space where there is “no real political commitment to development”, and the effect that has on people.

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