Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie pens open letter to Joe Biden about Nigeria’s 2023 elections

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie pens open letter to Joe Biden about Nigeria’s 2023 elections

An open letter has been penned by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Joe Biden, the President of the United States of America, regarding the just concluded election in Nigeria.

The renowned author’s letter, titled “Nigeria’s Hollowed Democracy” and featured in The Atlantic on Thursday. raises queries about why the victor of Nigeria’s catastrophic February election is repeatedly congratulated by Americans.

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In the open letter, Adichie said the election that produced Mr Tinubu was tainted with irregularities as pictures of result sheets taken by voters from various polling units did not match the sheets belatedly uploaded on the commission’s server.

The writer pointed out that

“Voters compared their cellphone photos with the uploaded photos and saw alterations: numbers crossed out and rewritten; some originally written in black ink had been rewritten in blue, some blunderingly whited-out with Tipp-Ex,”

“The election had been not only rigged, but done in such a shoddy, shabby manner that it insulted the intelligence of Nigerians.”

“It is ironic that many images of altered result sheets showed votes overwhelmingly being transferred from the Labour Party to the APC.”

She further said that the nation’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under Chairman Mahmood Yakubu, may have been compromised based on its conduct, particularly its eagerness to declare a winner despite objections from worried citizens.

Recounting the unfortunate experience of the majority of Nigerian voters.

“Some electoral workers in polling units claimed that they could not upload results because they didn’t have a password, an excuse that voters understood to be subterfuge. By the end of the day, it had become obvious that something was terribly amiss”.

She said it “seemed truly perplexing” that INEC

“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.”

Adichie cautioned the U.S. leader against toeing the path of his UK counterpart, Rishi Sunak, who had rushed to congratulate Mr Tinubu. According to her

“the battle for influence in Africa will not be won by supporting the same undemocratic processes for which China is criticized.”

Adichie concludes that

“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.”

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