Home Nigeria Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Faults US Government for Congratulating Tinubu, Says Nigerian Election...

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Faults US Government for Congratulating Tinubu, Says Nigerian Election was Manipulated

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

By Uche Amunike

World acclaimed writer and Nobel Laureate, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has faulted the United States Department for congratulating Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, even though the electoral process was clearly flawed.

Speaking, through an open letter titled ‘Nigeria’s Hollow Democracy’ and addressed to President of the United States, Joe Biden,  Adichie drew his attention to reports of the various malpractices that took place during the February 25th poll, which included voters’ intimidation, snatching of ballot boxes, and widespread violence.

The Anambra-born Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in her article published, Thursday, in The Atlantic, stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), failed on their promise to upload election results from polling units on time, through its viewing portal.

She went on to quote the spokesperson for the United States Department, Ned Price, who mentioned in the congratulatory statement, that Nigerians were frustrated at the ‘manner in which the process was conducted and the shortcomings of technical elements that were used for the first time in a presidential election cycle. And yet, the process was described as a ‘competitive election’ that ‘represents a new period for Nigerian politics and democracy.’

American intelligence surely cannot be so inept. A little homework and they would know what is manifestly obvious to me and so many others: The process was imperiled not by technical shortcomings but by deliberate manipulation.

I hope, President Biden, that you do not personally share this cordial condescension. You have spoken of the importance of a global community for democracy and the need to stand up for ‘justice and the rule of law.’

A global community for democracy cannot thrive in the face of apathy from its most powerful member. Why would the United States, which prioritizes the rule of law, endorse a president-elect who has emerged from an unlawful process?

‘I hope it will not surprise you, President Biden, if I argue that the American response to the Nigerian election also bears the faint taint of that word, compromised, because it is so removed from the actual situation in Nigeria as to be disingenuous.

Has the United States once again decided that what matters in Africa is not democracy but stability? (Perhaps you could tell British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who quickly congratulated Tinubu, that an illegitimate government in a country full of frustrated young people does not portend stability.

Or is it about that ever-effulgent nemesis China, as so much of U.S. foreign policy now invariably seems to be? The battle for influence in Africa will not be won by supporting the same undemocratic processes for which China is criticized.

She also called on President Biden not to be apathetic towards the present state of Nigeria by endorsing the results of the undemocratic process of February 25.

Hear her: ‘You have spoken of the importance of a ‘global community for democracy,’ and the need to stand up for ‘justice and the rule of law. A global community for democracy cannot thrive in the face of apathy from its most powerful member.

‘Why would the United States, which prioritise the rule of law, endorse a president-elect who has emerged from an unlawful process?’, she added.

She mentioned that many Nigerians are unhappy, not just because their preferred choice lost in the election, but because the election they had dared to trust was in the endso unacceptably and unforgivably flawed.

She reiterated that by congratulating the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President Biden would be tarnishing America’s self proclaimed commitment to democracy. She called on him to refuse giving the sheenof legitimacy to an illegitimate process and advised that the United States should remain what it says it is.

The article which was published on Thursday will be the second open address written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to President Biden since the presidential election of February 25th was conducted in Nigeria. She had written an Op-Ed which was published in the New York Times, in March, calling on the US president to show Nigerians support at this time by standing by them.

Her words: ‘stand behind the Nigerian people now and make a firm commitment to support election transparency.

You don’t want a wave of Nigerian asylum seekers fleeing the unbearable discontent of living under an illegitimate government’, she warned.

 

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