Chimamanda Blasts UK, US For Congratulating Tinubu

Chimamanda Blasts UK, US For Congratulating Tinubu

A popular Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adichie, has blasted Joe Biden, the President of the United States of America, and his counterpart in the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, for extending congratulatory messages to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigeria’s “President-elect”.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared the former Governor of Lagos State the winner of 2023 presidential election amidst controversies and disagreement with the results being collated by the body in Abuja.

The agents of the two main opposition political parties in the election had staged a walk-out during the results collation to protest the figures being announced by the electoral body which was said to be in disagreement with the polling unit results.

The outcome of the presidential election came as a shock to many.

Election observers both local and international rated the presidential election very low.

While many global leaders are yet to extend their congratulatory messages to the “President-elect”, there were reports that the British Prime Minister congratulated Tinubu after his declaration as the winner of the election, while the US State Department later released a message congratulating the people of Nigeria on a successful election.

However, reacting in an open letter to the US President, Adichie expressed surprised at the congratulatory message to Tinubu by the US State Department, adding that Tinubu emerged from an unlawful process.

She stated that the election was characterized by deliberate manipulation and not technical hitches as claimed by the electoral body.

She reminded Biden of his emphasis on the essence of “global community for democracy” and the need to support the rule of law and justice.

Her letter reads in part: “How surprising then to see the U.S. State Department congratulate Tinubu on March 1. ‘We understand that many Nigerians and some of the parties have expressed frustration about 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,’ the spokesperson said.

“And yet the process was described as a “competitive election” that “represents a new period for Nigerian politics and democracy.”

“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.

“I hope, President Biden, that you do not personally share this cordial condescension. 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?

“I hope it will not surprise you, President Biden, if I argue that the American response to the Nigerian election also bears the faint taint of that word, compromised, because it is so removed from the actual situation in Nigeria as to be disingenuous.

“Has the United States once again decided that what matters in Africa is not democracy but stability? (Perhaps you could tell British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who quickly congratulated Tinubu, that an illegitimate government in a country full of frustrated young people does not portend stability.)

“Or is it about that ever-effulgent nemesis China, as so much of U.S. foreign policy now invariably seems to be? The battle for influence in Africa will not be won by supporting the same undemocratic processes for which China is criticized.”