April 6, 2023

Chimamanda faults UK, US for congratulating Tinubu


Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adichie has berated United States President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for congratulating President-elect Bola Tinubu.

Adichie said this in her open letter to Biden on The Atlantic titled, ‘Nigeria’s Hollow Democracy’ on Thursday, and she said that the American president gave priority to stability than democracy in Africa.

She said, “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.”