Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the just-concluded general election, Peter Obi, has criticized the US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s call to President-elect Bola Tinubu, saying that he ought to let the court decide the rightful president of Nigeria.
Obi reacted to the conversation between Tinubu and Blinken today in a series of tweets on his verified Twitter handle.
It was earlier reported that Blinken promised stronger ties between the US and Nigeria during a phone call to Tinubu on Tuesday.
However, the call sparked responses from the opposition parties.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar called the exchange between Blinken and Tinubu “demoralising.”
“I am in disbelief that Secretary Antony Blinken called Tinubu, a contradiction to the publicly stated position of the US on Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.
“This is inconceivable considering that America, as the bastion of democracy, is well briefed on the sham election of February 25. To give legitimacy to the widely acknowledged fraudulent election in Nigeria can be demoralising to citizens who have hedged their bet on democracy and the sanctity of the ballot,’’ Atiku wrote on his Twitter handle on Wednesday.
In a similar reaction, Obi urged the US to hold off on legitimising any disputing party until the entire conclusion of ongoing legal proceedings.
He said, “There is still a lack of clarity on the basis of the US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken’s call to APC’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu on May 16, 2023.
“It is thus of overarching importance that a beacon of democracy like the United States should not respond to political developments in Nigeria in a manner that faintly suggests taking sides.
“The final determination of the true winner of the election can only be made by the relevant courts of law
“The most fundamental tenet and core value of democracy is the rule of law.
“Nigeria’s democracy is founded on these principles which the American people hold dear. Without the risk of interfering in Nigeria’s domestic affairs, the U.S.-Nigeria relationship should be guided by the core values of democracy.
“Above all, Nigerians expect that the US responses to our affairs should be based on mutual respect, shared ideals, aspirations and interests which ought to transcend the considerations of any individual,” Obi wrote.
The former Anambra governor added that the “willful manipulation and falsification of the will of Nigerians as freely expressed during the February 25 elections cannot be overlooked by the true friends and partners of Nigeria.”