By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Atiku Abubakar yesterday faulted United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, for speaking with President-elect Bola Tinubu.
Blinken called Tinubu on Tuesday night to emphasise his continued commitment to further strengthening the U.S.-Nigeria relationship with the incoming administration.
But, in a tweet via his verified handle @atiku, the former Vice President stated: “I am in disbelief that @SecBlinken called Tinubu, a contradiction to the publicly stated position of the US on Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.
“This is inconceivable considering that America, as the bastion of democracy, is well briefed on the sham election of February 25.
“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 tagged the State Department, President Joe Biden and the U.S. Mission Nigeria in the tweet.
Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), disagreed with Atiku.
Keyamo tweeted: “No, your Excellency, @atiku. It is not a contradiction. The United States and @SecBlinken know you and Peter Obi are behaving like Donald Trump in America: refusing to accept your obvious defeat and relying on propaganda to deceive the world. They have your type in the US, so they understand the issues correctly.
“They know that whilst there were intolerable incidents during the election perpetrated by all leading parties (for instance Peter Obi got far fewer votes in Anambra State than was declared – I dare them to publish what is on IREV), they also have credible reports that those isolated incidents did not substantially affect the overall outcome of the elections.
“They know both of you could not have won when, as opposition parties, you split your votes into three parts, with even a revolt of 5 of your Governors within your depleted party. Yes, they know you lost and @officialabat won, fair and square.
“And for those who perpetrated these irregularities during the elections, the US has applied the appropriate sanctions (and we welcome those sanctions which deepen our democracy), but that is that. It is not a condemnation of the entire election as you have wrongly assumed.
“Hence, a couple of days ago, the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the U.S Embassy in Nigeria, Mr David Greene visited the Vice-President-Elect Senator Kashim Shettima and earlier today Secretary Blinken put a call through to @officialABAT to pledge the cooperation of the US and its support for the incoming administration.
”The world has actually moved on, but you and Peter Obi are still standing in one spot. As usual, you and Peter Obi are depending on your usual bullying tactics to overwhelm the US and @SecBlinken and cow them to toe your warped line of reasoning that has no evidential basis.
“Unfortunately for you, these are people and institutions that cannot be overwhelmed by your mob on social media. That system handled Trump and his tantrums. They can also handle you and Peter Obi.”