Ukpono Anietie, PH
Renowned author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has expressed her disappointment with the United States over its congratulatory message to Bola Tinubu, the President-elect of Nigeria.
She argued that despite allegations of voter fraud, suppression and technical glitches in the recent presidential election, US State Department still went ahead to embrace Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.
In an open letter to US President Joe Biden, published in The Atlantic, Chimamanda voiced her concerns that the US State Department had described the process as a duly contested and competitive election without checking the pronounced red flags that covered the electoral process.
“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,” she wrote.
The novelist, known for her award-winning works including Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah, questioned whether American intelligence could really be so incompetent and unfit, stating that a little homework would have revealed what was obvious to her and many other Nigerians.
Chimamanda went on to highlight the brewing discontent, despair, and tension among the country’s youth, noting that the smoldering disillusionment felt by many Nigerians was not so much because their candidate did not win, but because the election they had hopes for was flawed and questionable.
The author also pointed out that the electoral commission had the power to pause vote counting and investigate irregularities but failed to do so, which further fueled suspicions of deliberate manipulation.
Chimamanda called on President Biden not to give the sheen of legitimacy to an illegitimate process, citing his history of advocating for a “global community for democracy” and the need to stand up for “justice and the rule of law.”
“Why would the United States, which prioritizes the rule of law, endorse a president-elect who has emerged from an unlawful process?” she asked.
The novelist’s criticism has drawn attention to the need for transparency and fairness in Nigeria’s electoral process and the role that powerful countries like the US can play in upholding democratic values.