***Says it’s inappropriate, unacceptable
A former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, on Wednesday, faulted the purported request of the President of the United States, Joe Biden, to meet President Bola Tinubu, describing it as inappropriate, unacceptable and condemnable.
He said the meeting is a bad example in collaborations in view of the pendency of suits challenging Tinubu’s Presidency.
According to him, the meeting billed to take place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September is suspicious in view of the fact that Tinubu currently lacks legitimacy as the result of the 2023 Presidential Election is being contested in court.
He said Biden’s request conveyed by a US Presidential envoy and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Molly Phee, defeats the stance of the American Government on democracy and sanctity of the ballot.
“President Joe Biden is asking to meet with you on the sidelines of UNGA and you are the only African leader he has requested to meet. It is a mark of his high regard for your leadership,” Ambassador Phee said during his meeting with Tinubu recently.
But Frank, the Ambassador of the United Liberation Movement for West Papau (ULMWP), to the East Africa and Middle East, in a statement in Abuja said the decision by Biden runs contrary to America’s stance on rule of law.
He said the invitation is “a bad example in collaborations in view of the pendency of suits challenging the declaration of Tinubu as President and multiple investigations ongoing concerning his integrity, true identity and academic records both in Nigeria and USA.”
Frank said, “It’s an insult to say that Tinubu is the only African President that Biden has chosen to meet on the sidelines of UNGA when they know his legitimacy deficit and the fraudulent election that brought him as president.
“For me, even if they want to discuss African affairs, they can discuss with any other legitimate African leader within the continent.
“However, it is clear the only reason they are seeking this meeting is to protect their selfish interests and it is for this type of unbecoming action that the US is now trying former President Donald Trump.
“It is disheartening to note that at a time when everyone is eagerly waiting on the outcome of the Presidential Election Tribunal, the US will seek to play to the gallery by inviting Tinubu as the sole African leader Biden wishes to meet at UNGA.”
He called on Biden to rescind his invitation to Tinubu, pending the ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on the suits challenging the legitimacy of the President.
The activist said, “The US should know that any other African President can collaborate with them for mutual benefit provided they legitimately hold power in trust for the people.
“Why is President Biden in a hurry to meet Tinubu at UNGA other than to protect US interest in the West African sub-region, especially in view of recent military coup in Niger Republic and the reports of a putsch in Gabon.
“We are curious as to the true intent of the proposed meeting save for divide-and-rule-system employed by developed countries in their relations with African countries, otherwise there is no need for this hurry to meet Tinubu until the courts have decided the true winner of the Nigerian Presidential election.
“The US must allow the Nigerian judicial system to determine the legitimacy or otherwise of President Tinubu before it seeks to discuss sensitive issues with him concerning the West African sub-region.
“This is very crucial and necessary as anything otherwise will seek to legitimize an illegality at a time when Nigerians are eager to see to a final closure on this matter.
“Again, need we say that this kind of bestowal of recognition on illegitimate administrations by America and other western powers is responsible for new incidences of coups in the African subregion?
“We must state categorically that some of us as allies and friends of USA have nothing against America pursuing its interests in Nigeria or Africa but they must not do it to the detriment of people of Nigeria or Africa.
“Rather, diplomatic and business relations and collaborations between the two sovereign nations should be done in a manner befitting both nations considering the views and interest of the Nigerian people. We believe in them but they must try and also do things that will benefit Nigeria.
“As true friends, we will call them out when they go wrong and applaud them when they’re right as regards issues concerning Africa in general and Nigeria in particular.”