Atiku tackles Blinken over call to Tinubu, says US validating ‘sham’ election
Former Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar Wednesday night tackled United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken for pledging support for the incoming government of president-elect Bola Tinubu.
Atiku contested the 2023 presidential election polling 6,984,520 votes to fall behind Tinubu who polled 8,794,726 votes and was declared winner of the election. Atiku, Labour Party candidate Peter Obi who finished third with 6,101,533 votes and other agrived parties are in court challenging the results.
“I am in disbelief that Blinken called Tinubu, a contradiction to the publicly stated position of the US on Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election,” Atiku tweeted.
“This is inconceivable considering that America, as the bastion of democracy, is well briefed on the sham election of February 25.”
Amid the opposition to Tinubu’s win, plans are underway for his swearing in to succeed outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, May 29. Tinubu has since been congratulated by government of countries with pledges of support, including the United States during a call initiated by Blinken on Tuesday.
Blinken assured Tinubu that the US would play its part in bringing a sustained and cordial relationship between the two nations to fruition, adding that a democratic and peaceful Nigeria is important to the US as it is to Africa.
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Tinubu said he would work to deliver institutional reforms and development programmes to deepen the country’s democratic institutions and bring help to the poor and vulnerable.
The Nigerian president-elect said the result of the just concluded elections reflected the will of the Nigerian people.
Atiku, who was Nigeria’s vice president to former President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007, said Blinken’s conversation with Tinubu is the US giving legitimacy to a “sham election”.
“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,” Atiku said.