Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party has called on the United States not take sides in the ongoing issues surrounding the 2023 presidential elections in Nigeria.
Obi was reacting to the call by the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken to president-elect, Bola Tinubu earlier in the week.
Obi said he expects the US to await the resolution of the judicial process before conferring legitimacy on any of the contending parties.
Here is the statement released on social media by Peter Obi:
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.
The final determination of the true winner of the election can only be made by the relevant courts of law. More so, the issues in judicial contention imply far-reaching violations of both the Nigerian Electoral Law and the Nigerian Constitution. -PO
Recall that the results of the 2023 presidential elections have been disputed and accordingly taken to the courts for adjudication. The results were called out in favor of Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). However, the opposition parties including the Labour Party have maintained that the elections were a sham and characterized by violence, ethnic targeting and outright falsification of figures in favor of the APC.
Despite the glaring evidence of irregularities, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) went ahead to declare Bola Tinubu as the winner and president-elect. This development has plunged the country into a crisis of legitimacy with many watchers calling for the May 29th Inauguration and hand-over of power to be stopped till the courts can give a ruling on the disputed election results.