Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has written an open letter to the President of the United States of America Joe Biden about the recently concluded election in Nigeria.
In the letter titled ‘Nigeria’s Hollowed Democracy’ and published on The Atlantic, the renowned author questions why Americans keep congratulating the winner of Nigeria’s disastrous election in February.
In her letter, Adichie points out that following the passage of the 2022 Electoral Act in Nigeria, which gave legal backing to the vote-counting process, Nigerians trooped out to vote on the morning of February 25.
She writes: “Many Nigerians went out to vote holding in their hearts a new sense of trust. Cautious trust, but still trust.”
She says what followed was a breach of that trust, when on February 26 social media became flooded with evidence of voting irregularities: “numbers crossed out and rewritten; some originally written in black ink had been rewritten in blue, some blunderingly whited-out with Tipp-Ex.”
Adichie adds: “The election had been not only rigged, but done in such a shoddy, shabby manner that it insulted the intelligence of Nigerians.”
Adichie then proceeds to question the U.S. State Department’s response in congratulating Tinubu and accepting the election results.
The Half Of A Yellow Sun author writes: “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 imperiled not by technical shortcomings but by deliberate manipulation.”
To Biden, Adichie writes: “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?”
Adichie concludes: “Congratulating [the election’s] 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.”
Read the full letter here.