The Labour Party (LP) Presidential Candidate in the last general elections, Mr Peter Obi, has cautioned the United States for allegedly giving tacit legitimacy to the victory of Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the poll.
Tinubu’s victory is being challenged by Obi, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, among others, in court.
But the US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, had called Tinubu on Tuesday, pledging a stronger ties between the US and Nigeria.
Atiku had also criticised the phone call, saying it was demoralising to the electorate who were aggrieved about the outcome of the election.
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Obi in a series of tweets on Friday said the basis for the call lacked clarity and cautioned the US against taking sides in a matter that is before the court.
He wrote, “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 16th May 2023. 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 U.S. responses to our affairs should be based on mutual respect, shared ideals, aspirations and interests which ought to transcend the considerations of any individual.
“Contextually, 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.
“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.
“There is an evolving political and judicial process around the last presidential election in Nigeria. We expect the United States to await the full resolution of the ongoing judicial processes before tacitly conferring legitimacy on any of the contending parties.”
Obi said the final determination of “the true winner” of the election can only be made by court, adding that “the issues in judicial contention imply far-reaching violations of both the Nigerian Electoral Law and the Nigerian Constitution.”
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