Internationally acclaimed writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has slammed the US State Department for congratulating Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, despite a flawed electoral process.
In an open letter to President of the United States, Joe Biden, Adichie referenced reports of widespread violence, ballot box snatching, voter’s intimidation, and other malpractices which marred the February 25 poll.
The author also stated in The Atlantic article published on Thursday that the Independent National Electoral Commission failed to deliver on its promise to upload election results from polling units in real-time via its result viewing portal.
Quoting Ned Price, the spokesperson for the US State Department, Chimamanda noted that the congratulatory statement itself mentioned 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”.
She further called on Biden to not remain apathetic toward the current state of Nigeria by endorsing the results of the “undemocratic process,”.
“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 prioritises the rule of law, endorse a president-elect who has emerged from an unlawful process?,” she wrote.
The Americanah author also argued that many Nigerians are upset not because their preferred candidate lost in the election but “because the election they had dared to trust was, in the end, so unacceptably and unforgivably flawed.”
“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 concluded
The Thursday article is Adichie’s second open address to President Biden since the conclusion of the presidential elections.
In March the US-based author published an op-ed via the New York Times, where she called on Biden “to 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 in the op-ed.
Notably, while many world leaders including the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, have extended their congratulation to Nigeria’s president-elect, President Biden is yet to send his congratulatory message.