Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the recently ended General Election, has criticized US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken’s call to President-elect Bola Tinubu, saying he should let the court decide who is the genuine president.
Obi mentioned this in a series of tweets on his verified Twitter profile in response to Tinubu and Blinken’s interaction on Friday.
According to news sources, Blinken guaranteed closer connections between the United States and Nigeria during a 20-minute phone call with 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 said, “There is still a lack of clarity on the basis of the U.S. 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 further charged the US to await the full resolution of the ongoing judicial processes before tacitly conferring legitimacy on any contending party.
“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.