Opposition fumes as US Congratulates Nigeria’s President-Elect

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) expressed their anger regarding a telephone conversation between the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and the President-elect of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu.

images 4 10 Opposition fumes as US Congratulates Nigeria's President-Elect

During the 20-minute call, Blinken assured Tinubu of stronger ties between the United States and Nigeria. The conversation took place while Tinubu was in France.

Matthew Miller, the spokesperson for the US Department of State, confirmed the call, which occurred on Tuesday.

This development comes 24 hours after the Joe Biden administration announced visa restrictions on Nigerians accused of disrupting the recently concluded elections. The US claimed that these individuals engaged in voter threats, manipulated results, and resorted to physical violence and other activities that undermined democracy. However, their identities were not disclosed.

Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s standard bearer who is contesting Tinubu’s victory at the tribunal, expressed dismay over Blinken’s communication with Tinubu. Abubakar argued that the Secretary of State’s assurance of bilateral cooperation contradicted the US government’s stance on Nigeria’s general election. He referred to a statement issued by the US government on March 2, in which they acknowledged complaints and frustrations expressed by Nigerians regarding the conduct of the presidential election and the technical shortcomings of the voting process.

Yunusa Tanko, the Chief Spokesman for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, also criticized Blinken’s discussion of bilateral relations with Tinubu.

According to Miller, during the phone conversation, Blinken expressed his commitment to strengthening the US-Nigeria partnership under the incoming administration of Tinubu. The two leaders discussed the importance of inclusive leadership that represents all Nigerians, comprehensive security cooperation, and reforms to support economic growth.

A statement from the Office of the President-elect, signed by Tunde Rahman, confirmed the conversation. Tinubu informed Blinken that he would swiftly begin working towards unifying the country upon assuming office on May 29. He pledged to maintain positive relations with the US and prioritize institutional reforms and development programs that deepen democratic institutions and benefit impoverished and vulnerable Nigerians.

During the 20-minute discussion, Tinubu highlighted the US granting him asylum when he was in exile during his fight for the restoration of democracy in Nigeria. He reaffirmed his commitment to democracy and his belief that the election results, which he claims to have clearly won, reflected the will of the Nigerian people. Tinubu urged the US to consider Nigeria’s significant position in Africa and provide necessary assistance in the areas of security and economic investment, envisioning Nigeria as a leading example for the rest of the continent.

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