US government calls Tinubu ahead of May 29 inauguration, seeks stronger relationship with Nigeria

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The United State government has asked for a stronger tie with Nigeria from the incoming government of Bola Ahmed Tinubu which will start on May 29, 2023.

Mathew Miller, a spokesman for the US government, disclosed in a statement that US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, phoned President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu pledging the commitment of his country to Nigeria’s democracy.

Miller said the two leaders “discussed the importance of inclusive leadership that represents all Nigerians, continued comprehensive security cooperation, and reforms to support economic growth”.

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“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke this morning with Nigerian President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu to emphasize his continued commitment to further strengthening the U.S.-Nigeria relationship with the incoming administration,” the statement reads.

“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.”

According to Tunde Rahman, spokesman of the president-elect, the conversation was initiated by the US diplomat.

“The telephone discussion, which was frank and friendly, took place on Tuesday evening,” Rahman said in a statement.

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“While affirming his democratic bona fides , President-elect Tinubu expressed his absolute belief that the result of the elections, which he clearly won, reflected the will of the Nigerian people.

“He said he would work to unite the country and ensure that Nigerians are happy and enjoy the benefits of democracy and progressive good governance.”

Rahman quoted Blinken to have told the President-elect that without national unity, security, economic development and good governance, Nigeria would not become a better place to live in or play her proper role in the comity of African nations.

“Secretary Blinken assured that Nigeria should expect a good and mutually-beneficial relationship with the US.”

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“He promised to play his part in bringing a sustained and cordial relationship between the two nations to fruition, saying a democratic and peaceful Nigeria is important to the United States as it is to Africa.”

The development comes a few days after the US announced the imposition of visa restrictions on Nigerians who allegedly disrupted the recently concluded elections.

The US said the affected persons were involved in voter threats, results manipulation, physical violence, and other activities that undermined democracy.

The list of affected persons was, however, not made public.

Tinubu was declared the winner of the February 25 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but other opponents have filed petitions to contest the outcome.

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to hand over to Tinubu on May 29.

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