Award-winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has described the 2023 presidential election as “a slap to the face of the Nigerian people and an insult to collective intelligence of Nigerians.”
Speaking in an interview on Arise TV, the writer stated that the Nigerian people deserve an explanation rather than the “two-facedness of the US government” when it comes to African politics.
“This was an election that was unforgivably flawed and there’s evidence for that. The statement about technical glitches being the cause is unconvincing?
“I wrote the letter to preserve this truth and call out the United States for what I consider two-facedness when it comes to Africa. They criticize African countries for being undemocratic and endorse the undemocratic process.”
She called for proper explanation from the Independent National Electoral Commission regarding the controversies surrounding the election as the conclusion that it was a matter of technical difficulties was “unconvincing”.
“Nigerians deserve the respect of an institution that is supposed to shepherd a democracy. So nobody has come out to explain to Nigerians how that happened.
“There’s a statement of technical glitches; it’s unconvincing and knowing how much hope and trust Nigerians invested in this election, knowing that nigeria is a low-trust society means that if people are sincere and there’s nothing to hide, then you make an extra effort to go out and explain to Nigerians what happened.”
When asked about fears of criticism and threats of lawsuits for false allegations that were suspected to be made in the article, Chimamanda stated that not only did she expect it but also had no fears of this as she had stated in the article that though they were rumours with no evidence, it highlighted a need to check each one and provide the people with an explanation of the malpractices that took place during the election.
She lamented about her inability to acquire her PVC and her disappointment in INEC for flaws in the election.
When questioned on her stance on the statement from Wole Soyinka who accused Yusuf Datti of making fascist statements, she said that rather it was INEC and the government who were fascist for disenfranchising people of a fair election without an explanation.
She said: “I have a lot of love and respect for Prof Soyinka but I disagree very strongly with him on this issue. Fascist is a very strong word and I don’t see any reason why Dr Datti’s interview was termed that way. Fascist can be used for INEC cos many Nigerians feel cheated and gagged. With all the violence that occurred during the elections, that is Fascist.
“There is an authoritarianism, which obviously is the basis of fascism at the center of manipulating an election, because what you are doing is you are gagging people and you are forcibly taking away their voice. That is Fascist.”
She concluded by stating that though the judiciary may have made questionable adjournments in some cases which may bring worry to the minds of the people, she still has faith in them for a fair hearing and a just ruling from the tribunal.