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2023 Election: US receives knock for congratulating Tinubu

A Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adichie, has criticised the United States Government for congratulating Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after he was declared winner of the 25 February presidential election.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, had, on 1 March, declared Mr Tinubu Nigeria’s president-elect.

The APC candidate polled a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored a total of 6,984,520 votes.

The Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi came third with a total of 6,101,533 votes.

The US State Department would later congratulate Mr Tinubu for his electoral victory.

But in an open letter to the US President, Joe Biden, which was shared on her verified Twitter handle on Thursday, Ms Adichie said the US government ought not to have congratulated the president-elect given that the exercise through which he emerged winner was “flawed”.

The famous writer also said Nigeria’s electoral umpire, INEC, reneged on its guidelines and assurances to Nigerians to upload results of the election on its Result Viewing portal (IReV) from polling units “immediately” elections were concluded.

She said it was curious that, unlike results of the presidential election, results of the National Assembly elections, which were held on the same time, were “easily” uploaded on INEC’s portal in real time. She said the “intentional delay” to upload the presidential election results afforded the APC the opportunity to “manipulate” them.

“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.

“No one was surprised when, by the morning of the 26 February, social media became flooded with evidence of irregularities. Result sheets were now slowly being uploaded on the IReV, and could be viewed by the public.

“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 white-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,” Ms Adichie stated.

“The smoldering disillusionment felt by many Nigerians is not so much because their candidate did not win as because the election they had dared to trust was, in the end, so unacceptably and unforgivably flawed.”

Ms Adichie said she was surprised to see the US government congratulating Mr Tinubu despite widespread cases of irregularities in the election and “rage brewing among young people” against the process.

She said it was “perplexing” that INEC ignored “so many glaring red flags” in its rush to declare results of the presidential poll without investigating allegations of the irregularities.

“How surprising then to see the U.S. State Department congratulate Tinubu on March 1. 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,” she stated.

The writer asked Mr Biden, the US president, to distance himself from the endorsement of the election results and congratulatory message to Mr Tinubu by the US State Department.

Prevail Inegbenose

Prevail Inegbenose is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Spark Media & Entertainment Ventures, the publisher of Spark News Daily - Nigeria's most sought-after online news platform - Politics, Sport & Entertainment. Prevail Inegbenose hails from Irrua, Esan Central LGA of Edo State. He studied Mass Communication from the prestigious Auchi Polytechnic Auchi and graduated in 2007. Prevail Inegbenose is a veteran journalist with 15 years of active and practical journalism. He has authored so many write-ups, a lot of which had been published in the newspapers, magazines and social media. Hence Prevail Inegbenose is a Journalist, Writer, Researcher, Author, Communication Expert and Consultant, Social Media Influencer, Project Management Expert, Peace Ambassador and Advocate of Good Governance and Better Society. He's a Pastor, in fact the Lead Pastor, House of God Int'l - Rest Tabernacle, Abuja Nigeria.

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