UK, US Congratulate Tinubu, Pledge Support

March 2, 2023
Tinubu win

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr Rishi Sunak, has congratulated Nigeria’s President-elect, Mr Bola Tinubu, on his victory at the just-concluded presidential election.

In his message, the PM said he looked forward to fostering the relationship between both Nigeria and its former colonial kingdom, which share a longstanding relationship that has withstood 62 years of independence from the UK.

He wrote on Twitter, “Congratulations to @officialABAT on his victory in Nigeria. The UK-Nigeria relationship remains strong,” Sunak tweeted on Wednesday evening.

“I look forward to working together to grow our security and trade ties, opening up opportunities for businesses and creating prosperity in both our countries.”

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday morning declared Mr Tinubu as the winner of the exercise.

Running on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Tinubu claimed the highest number of votes — 8,794,726, almost two million votes more than his closest rival, Mr Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr Abubakar, who has now run for president six times, got 6,984,520 votes, while the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, who, in less than a year, galvanised young voters in a manner some have described as unprecedented, finished the race with 6,101,533, while another heavyweight, Mr Rabiu Kwakwanso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) came fourth.

The election which has drawn massive criticism was allegedly marred by low voter turnout, with official figures showing 27 per cent, a drop in trend when compared to 34.75 per cent in 2019.

The US Congratulates Tinubu, Nigerians

The United States, in a statement, also congratulated the people of Nigeria, Mr Tinubu, and all political leaders following the February 25 presidential election.

It said, “This competitive election represents a new period for Nigerian politics and democracy.  Each of the top three candidates was the leading vote-getter in 12 states, a remarkable first in Nigeria’s modern political era, reflecting the diversity of views that characterized the campaign and the wishes of Nigeria’s voters.”

It added, “We understand that many Nigerians and some of the parties have expressed frustration about the manner in which the process was conducted and the shortcomings of technical elements that were used for the first time in a presidential election cycle. Nigerians are clearly within their rights to have such concerns and should have high expectations for their electoral processes. We join other international observers in urging INEC to improve in the areas that need the most attention ahead of the March 11 gubernatorial elections.

“There are well-established mechanisms in place for the adjudication of electoral disputes, and we encourage any candidate or party seeking to challenge the outcome to pursue redress through those mechanisms. We call on all parties, candidates, and supporters to refrain from violence or inflammatory rhetoric at this critical time.”

Further, “We commend the active participation of civil society and the media for advancing electoral norms and political discourse on issues of importance to citizens. We note with concern reports that numerous members of the media were attacked during the course of the election, and we urge the government, security forces, political actors, and all citizens to respect the media’s critical role by refraining from any damaging acts against them and ensuring accountability for such acts when they do occur.  We also congratulate the Nigerian people, especially the large number of youths who are relatively new to the political process, for demonstrating their strong commitment to democracy.”

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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