Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of Labour Party
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the just concluded General Election, Peter Obi, has faulted the call made by the US Secretary of the State, Antony J. Blinken, to President-elect, Bola Tinubu, adding that he should let the court decide the legitimate president of Nigeria.
Obi said this in a series of tweets on his verified Twitter handle while reacting to the conversation between Tinubu and Blinken on Friday. Blinken had pledged stronger ties between the US and Nigeria during a 20-minute telephone call to Tinubu on Tuesday.
But the call had generated reactions from opposition camps, with the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, describing the conversation between Blinken and Tinubu as “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 said on his Twitter handle on Wednesday.
However, Obi charged the US to await the full resolution of the ongoing judicial processes before tacitly conferring legitimacy on any contending party. 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,” he added.
“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.”
“More so, the issues in judicial contention imply far-reaching violations of both the Nigerian Electoral Law and the Nigerian Constitution,” he maintained.