Rishi Sunak comes under fire for congratulating Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s president-elect

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, has come under fire for congratulating Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“Congratulations to [Bola Ahmed Tinubu] on his victory in Nigeria,” Mr Sunak wrote.  “The UK-Nigeria relationship remains strong. 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.”

Rishi Sunak is the first known world leader to congratulate the president-elect in Nigeria, Bola Tinubu. However, several Nigerians have come to his Twitter page to criticise him for congratulating the winner of what they described as a flawed election.

“Despite the reports from the EU and American observers, you are out here validating a fraudulent mandate,” one Nigerian replied to Rishi Sunak. “Did you rig your way into becoming Prime Minister? I regret standing with you when you were being bullied.”

“You’re congratulating someone who rigged his way and overturned the will of the people in conjunction with a corrupt electoral body,” another user said. “Mr prime minister, this is an illegitimate process that produced him, it’s not recognized by our electoral act.”

“With all the information at your fingertips, you are still sending a congratulatory message to a fraudster,” another Nigerian replied to the British Prime minister. “Is this the kind of democracy the west is selling to us?”

“If you’re not going to join in demanding credible elections in Nigeria, just keep quiet and face Britain,” another user wrote. “Don’t endorse this sham that was orchestrated by Nigeria’s greedy, blood-thirsty kakistocracy.”

Nigeria is a former British colony. Although most Nigerians migrate to the UK in search of a greener pasture, the average Nigerian does not see the UK as being interested in their well-being. They feel the UK is only concerned about its economic interest.

“It’s always about business to the UK government, it doesn’t matter how corrupt who their dealing with is, you keep claiming that Africa is corrupt but you turn a blind eye when it’s time to make a statement. Continue supporting nonsense and Nigerians will flood this country,” a Twitter user wrote.

On Saturday, Nigerians trooped in to elect a new president for the next four years. Bola Ahmed Tinubu was declared the winner amid allegations of voter suppression, massive rigging, results rewriting, and violence.

Leaders of the major opposition parties, the People’s Democratic Party, the New Nigerian People’s Party and the Labour Party, have vowed to challenge the results of the election at the election petition tribunal, and the race might be far from over. International observers alike have questioned the transparency of the election but urged citizens to remain calm and not take laws into their hands.


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