Chimamanda slams US and UK for congratulating Tinubu, calls election flawed

Notable Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie criticized the US and the UK for congratulating Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, despite the flawed elections.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie wrote an open letter to US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, citing reports of widespread violence, ballot box snatching, voter intimidation, and other electoral malpractices that occurred during the February 25 poll.

In an article published in The Atlantic on Thursday, Adichie also mentioned that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to fulfil its promise to upload election results from polling units in real-time via its result viewing portal.

Chimamanda noted that the congratulatory statement from the US State Department itself acknowledged that Nigerians were frustrated with the flawed process. She urged Biden and Rishi not to endorse the results of an undemocratic process and to take action towards the current state of Nigeria.

Chimamanda slams US and UK for congratulating Tinubu, calls election flawed

Chimamanda Adichie’s Open Letter to US Biden and UK’s Rishi

“How surprising then to see the U.S. State Department congratulate Tinubu on March 1. ‘We understand that many Nigerians and some of the parties have expressed frustration about 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 imperilled 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.”

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