Chimamanda and Biden. Image source: Channels TV

Chimamanda wrote to Biden criticizing the electoral process and disapproving of the US congratulating Tinubu.

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Chimamanda and Biden. Image source: Channels TV

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a well-known author, has expressed her criticism towards the United States for congratulating President-elect Bola Tinubu on winning the presidential election that took place on February 25th.

The US State Department spokesperson congratulated Nigeria on Tinubu’s win on the same day it was announced, but also urged for calm in light of allegations of voter fraud and technical issues. The spokesperson acknowledged that many Nigerians and political parties were dissatisfied with the electoral process and the new technical components introduced in this presidential election.

In an open letter to US President Joe Biden published in The Atlantic on Thursday, Chimamanda expressed her confusion regarding the US’s characterization of the Nigerian election as a “competitive election” that signals a new era for Nigerian politics and democracy. She questioned the competence of American intelligence, suggesting that they should have a better understanding of the issues and challenges present in Nigerian politics.

“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,” she said.

“It seemed truly perplexing that, in the context of a closely contested election in a low-trust society, the electoral commission would ignore so many glaring red flags in its rush to announce a winner.

“(It had the power to pause vote counting, to investigate irregularities—as it would do in the governorship elections two weeks later.)”

Chimamanda, the acclaimed author, expressed concern about the growing anger and frustration among young people in Nigeria. She noted that the current level of discontent, despair, and tension in the country has not been felt so strongly in many years.

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie receives the W.E.B Du Bois Medal, Harvard’s highest honor in the field of African and African American studies at Harvard University’s Sanders theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 6, 2022. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP)

“How surprising then to see the U.S. State Department congratulate Tinubu on March 1,” she said.

Chimamanda directed her message to the US President, expressing her hope that he did not personally endorse what she perceived as a “this cordial condescension”.

She cited Biden’s history of advocating the importance of a “global community for democracy” and the need to stand up for “justice and the rule of law”.

Chimamanda believes that a global community that upholds democratic values cannot flourish if its most influential member, the United States, is indifferent or uninvolved.

.“Why would the United States, which prioritizes the rule of law, endorse a president-elect who has emerged from an unlawful process?

“I supported Peter Obi, the Labour Party candidate, and hoped he would win, as polls predicted, but I was prepared to accept any result, because we had been assured that technology would guard the sanctity of votes.”

The author suggests that the widespread sense of disillusionment among Nigerians is not primarily due to their preferred candidate losing the election, but rather because the electoral process that they had placed their faith in turned out to be deeply flawed and unacceptable, which they find unforgivable.

“Congratulating its outcome, President Biden, tarnishes America’s self-proclaimed commitment to democracy. Please do not give the sheen of legitimacy to an illegitimate process. The United States should be what it says it is,” she said.

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