As is customary when any country regarded as an American ally elects a new president, Bola Tinubu, the victor of Nigeria’s hotly contested presidential election, has not yet received an official congratulations from U.S. President Joe Biden.
Rather, Ned Price, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, congratulated Tinubu on behalf of the foreign government while also highlighting how many Nigerians were unhappy with INEC’s electoral process.
In the statement, Ned Price urged aggrieved candidates to challenge Tinubu’s victory in court.
Biden’s silence two weeks after Tinubu’s victory seems strange given that his distant predecessor, Barack Obama, congratulated Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 on the same day that the country’s Independent National Election Commission (INEC) declared him the winner.
In May of last year, Biden called Ferdinando Marcos Jr., the then-president-elect of the Philippines, to offer his congratulations. The White House website made the call’s specifics available.
When Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won the Brazilian presidential election in October 2022, the American president sent him a message of congratulations, which was also posted on the White House website.
The incoming president of Nigeria may interpret Biden’s lack of verbal communication with him as doubt about the electoral process that produced him.
The election process, according to the European Union, was flawed and opaque.
The All Progressives Congress leader Tinubu won the election due to irregularities, violence, and intimidation, according to the British think tank Chatham House.