The AtlanticThe Atlantic

Nigeria’s hollow democracy

By Chimamanda Adichie

06 Apr 2023 · 8 min read

Editor's Note

Renowned author Chimamanda Adichie explains the fractured history of voting in Nigeria. Addressing this Atlantic article to President Biden, she asks why the U.S. congratulated the corrupt winner.

Dear President Biden,

Something remarkable happened on the morning of February 25, the day of the Nigerian presidential election. Many Nigerians went out to vote holding in their hearts a new sense of trust. Cautious trust, but still trust. Since the end of military rule in 1999, Nigerians have had little confidence in elections. To vote in a presidential election was to brace yourself for the inevitable aftermath: fraud.

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