Let court decide Nigeria’s president – Peter Obi tackles US government for phoning Tinubu

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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25 election, Peter Obi, has tackled the United States government for telephoning President-Elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, saying the US should let the court decide the legitimate president.

 The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a 20-minute telephone call with Tinubu reaffirmed his commitment to strengthening the relationship between the United States and Nigeria.

Obi, who is challenging Tinubu’s victory at the tribunal, said in a tweet on Friday that the basis of Blinken’s conversation with the president-elect remains unclear.

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He noted that he did not expect the US to intervene in Nigerian domestic affairs until the ongoing judicial processes were fully resolved.

The former Anambra governor added that the United States should be guided by the core values of democracy before implicitly conferring legitimacy on any of the contending parties.

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.

— Peter Obi (@PeterObi) May 19, 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,” Obi said.

“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.”

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According to him, Nigerians expect the United States’ responses to the country’s affairs to be based on mutual respect, shared ideals, aspirations, and interests that transcend any individual’s considerations.

He added that only the relevant courts of law can determine the true winner of the election, noting that the issues in judicial contention imply far-reaching violations of both the Nigerian Electoral Law and the Nigerian Constitution.

“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.

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“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.

In a related development, Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, tweeted on Wednesday, that he is in disbelief that Blinken called Tinubu, which contradicted the US position on the general election.

Atiku added that it is inconceivable considering that America, as the bastion of democracy, gave legitimacy to the widely acknowledged fraudulent election in Nigeria.

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