By Lekan Olanrewaju.
Former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu this weekend called for collaboration between Nigeria and United States in the fights against terrorism, corruption and consolidation of democratic institutions.
He made this call while receiving a US delegation which was led by a staff member of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ms Tamara Klajn,and included US Consul-general in Lagos, Joseph Stafford, and other consulate officials.
“Nigeria is tense and uncertain and it is drifting.” Tinubu said. “There is a disturbing sense of lack of capacity at the highest level of governance. There is therefore an urgent need to develop democratic institutions,”
He implored US to help Nigeria strengthen its capacity in sensitive areas such as security with a view to fostering democracy and promoting prosperity
He also took advantage of the opportunity to speak on the April 2011 general elections in Nigeria which he said were not as fair as they were portrayed to be.
“After ACN’s showing in 2011, the PDP has decided that the ACN would not win any further elections” he said, insinuating that there was a plot by the PDP to keep his party, the ACN out of power. “All the elections since then have been flawed. INEC is sliding backwards. PDP has tried to undermine the opposition; especially the Action Congress of Nigeria and I personally have suffered political persecution.” He continued. The international community needs to press the Nigerian government now on electoral reform and not believe that the issue has been resolved or that (Independent National Electoral Commission) INEC is passable. The moment elections are not free and you cannot settle election disputes, the next step would be in the streets. That would be bad for any country, as even Boko Haram would be a child’s play,”
He said beyond assisting in the anti-terrorism crusade, the United States should help Nigeria to confront and defeat what he called social injustices and economic privations which he said served as the root cause of terrorism.
He also called for the US to partner with Nigeria to enable it strengthen the political party system and to properly develop and deepen multi-party system currently being practised in the country.