Transcript of Joe Biden’s aborted meeting with Bola Tinubu at the UN

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo
7 min readSep 26, 2023

(After an on-camera handshake at the UN Plaza Hotel and traditional boilerplate statements from Joe Biden and, later, Bola Tinubu, where the two presidents expressed their desires to continue and advance the age-long commitment to building on their two countries’ shared values… with a mandatory mention of protecting and preserving democracy and democratic ideals across the West African sub-region, strengthening securities and advancing economic growth and prosperity for “our peoples,” the handlers of the US President dismissed the media and the two leaders went into a closed-door meeting with just two aides… and that was when this imagined conversation followed.)

Joe Biden: Mr. President, thank you for coming.

Bola Tinubu: My pleasure, sir.

Joe Biden: You were the only African leader I looked forward to meeting at this UN General Assembly.

Bola Tinubu: Why did you leave me hanging alone in India at the G-20?

Joe Biden: Not at all. I love that your sister, the president-general of the World Trade Organization. What’s her name again?

Bola Tinubu: She is not my sister. She is just another Nigerian.

Joe Biden: Alright, man. But she is fantastic. I always love the colors of her dress. They brighten every event I see her at. In fact, her colors and smile draw me to her the way sweet nectar and pollens draw a butterfly to flowers.

Bola Tinubu: Why were you looking forward to meeting me, sir?

Joe Biden: Because your bio that my aides gave me was fascinating. It says that you attended the Chicago State University in the 1970s.

Bola Tinubu: Yes, I did.

Joe Biden: What year did you graduate?

Bola Tinubu: 1979, even though the register of the school made a mistake and the devil helped it by omitting…(incomprehensible)

Joe Biden: I attended the infamous 1968 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago. As a young senator, I was also at Chicago University to investigate fraud in the 70s.

Bola Tinubu: Did you say, fraud?

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Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo is the author of "This American Life Sef."