Former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last elections, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday took to his Twitter handle to express disbelief over the phone call made to the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, by United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, despite the legitimacy of his election being called to question.
Objecting to the call in a tweet on his verified handle @atiku on Wednesday, Atiku described it as a “contradiction”.
But in a swift response, Festus Keyamo, the chief spokesperson of the APC Presidential Council, countered Atiku, saying “No; it is not a contradiction.”
In his tweet, the PDP standard bearer said for the United States, the bastion of democracy, to give legitimacy to the widely acknowledged fraudulent election in Nigeria can be demoralising to Nigerians who trusted in democracy and the sanctity of the ballot.
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Atiku said he was surprised by the call following information that the United States was well briefed on the “sham election” of February 25 in Nigeria.
He said: “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.”
It’s not a contradiction
Reacting to Atiku’s tweet, Keyamo said: “No, your Excellency, @atiku, it is not a contradiction. The United States and @SecBlinken know you and Peter Obi are behaving like Donald Trump in America: refusing to accept your obvious defeat and relying on propaganda to deceive the world. “They have your type in the US, so they understand the issues correctly. They know that whilst there were intolerable incidents during the election perpetrated by all leading parties (for instance Peter Obi got far fewer votes in Anambra State than was declared – I dare them to publish what is on IREV); they also have credible reports that those isolated incidents did not substantially affect the overall outcome of the elections. They know both of you could not have won when, as opposition parties, you split your votes into 3 parts, with even a revolt of 5 of your governors within your depleted party. Yes, they know you lost and @officialABAT won fair and square.”
Daily Trust reports that the spokesperson of the US Department of State, Matthew Miller, had earlier in a statement disclosed that Blinken spoke with President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu to emphasise his continued commitment to further strengthen the U.S.-Nigeria relationship with the incoming administration.
“The secretary noted that the U.S.-Nigeria partnership is built on shared interests and strong people-to-people ties and that those links should continue to strengthen under President-elect Tinubu’s tenure. Secretary Blinken and President-elect Tinubu discussed the importance of inclusive leadership that represents all Nigerians, continued comprehensive security cooperation, and reforms to support economic growth,” Miller said.
By Fidelis Mac-Leva & Baba Martins
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