Ahead of his May 29 inauguration, President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu has pledged to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy, deepen democratic institutions and bring help to vulnerable Nigerians.
Tinubu, who stated this during a telephone conversation with the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken on Tuesday evening, also pledged to work to ensure continued positive relations with the United States.
According to a statement on Wednesday by the Tinubu Media Office, which was signed by Tunde Rahman, the telephone conversation, which was initiated by Blinken, was frank and friendly.
“The President-elect said that among his immediate priorities would be to deliver institutional reforms and development programs to deepen our democratic institutions and bring help to poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
He also expressed his determination to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and faithfully serve the people as their president”, the statement said.
The statement further revealed that during the talks that lasted about 20 minutes, Tinubu spoke about his long and eventful sojourn in America, recalling how he was granted asylum by the US when, due to his determined struggle for democracy in Nigeria, he was forced into exile by the late General Sani Abacha’s military junta.
Tinubu also defended the February 25, 2023 presidential election, telling Blinken that the result of the elections, which he clearly won, reflected the will of the Nigerian people, adding, however, that he would work to unite the country and ensure that Nigerians are happy and enjoy the benefits of democracy and progressive good governance.
The President-elect, while noting that without national unity, security, economic development and good governance, Nigeria would not become a better place to live in or play her proper role in the comity of African nations, urged the US to factor in Nigeria’s important place in Africa and provide needed assistance in the areas of security and economic investment in order for the nation to lead the way and be a shining example to the rest of the continent.
Blinken, on his part, reportedly assured that Nigeria should expect a good and mutually-beneficial relationship with the US, promising to play his part in bringing a sustained and cordial relationship between the two nations to fruition.
He also noted that a democratic and peaceful Nigeria was important to the United States as it was to Africa.
Both President-elect Tinubu and Secretary Blinken ended their discussion with pleasant greetings and a promise to keep the channels of dialogue and communication open, whilst maintaining a strong relationship between the two nations.