Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Criticizes US State Department for Congratulating Nigeria’s President-Elect Despite Flawed Election Process

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Criticizes US State Department for Congratulating Nigeria's President-Elect Despite Flawed Election Process

In a scathing critique of the United States State Department, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an internationally acclaimed writer, has spoken out against the congratulatory statement issued to Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, despite evidence of a flawed electoral process. In an open letter to President Joe Biden, published in The Atlantic on Thursday, Adichie referenced widespread violence, ballot box snatching, voter intimidation, and other malpractices that plagued the February 25th election. She also highlighted the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission 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, Adichie noted that the congratulatory statement itself mentioned that Nigerians were frustrated with 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.” Despite this, Adichie called on President Biden to not remain apathetic towards the current state of Nigeria by endorsing the results of an undemocratic process. She argued that the United States, which prioritizes the rule of law, should not endorse a president-elect who has emerged from an unlawful process.

Adichie further 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 the outcome, she argued, 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.

This is not the first time Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has addressed President Biden regarding the Nigerian elections. In March, she published an op-ed via the New York Times, calling on Biden “to stand behind the Nigerian people now and make a firm commitment to support election transparency.” She warned that failure to do so could lead to a wave of Nigerian asylum seekers fleeing the “unbearable discontent of living under an illegitimate government.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie letter highlights the importance of holding governments accountable for their actions and promoting transparency in the electoral process. It also serves as a reminder that the international community has a crucial role to play in ensuring that democracy is upheld worldwide. As Nigeria continues to grapple with issues of corruption and electoral malpractice, it is essential that the United States and other world leaders take a firm stance to support democracy and the rule of law.

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