Peter Obi deletes tweet addressing Tinubu as ‘Mr President’

Former Anambra State governor Peter Obi on Friday retracted his acknowlegement of Bola Tinubu as Nigeria president.

Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party, contested and lost the 2023 presidential election to Tinubu who was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in February.

The ex-Anambra State governor along with former vice president Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are challenging Tinubu’s victory in court. Both contestants who came third and second respectively claim that they won the election and want Tinubu sacked by the court.

Since Tinubu’s swearing in on Monday, May 29, 2023 when he succeeded former President Muhammadu Buhari, neither Obi or Atiku has addressed Tinubu as president. But Obi did on Friday.

What happened?
President Tinubu was received to a heroic welcome to Lagos, a state he governed from 1999 to 2007 and has been influential in choosing successive leaders on Wednesday. It was his first visit since he assumed office as Nigeria president.

Hundereds of his supporters and political dignitaries, including Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu were on the ground to give him a state welcome.

However, the visit became a major point of criticism for the president after a long motorcade accompanied him to his new private residence. Multiple SUVs were seen speeding ahead and behind Tinubu’s car. This is at a time Nigerians are groaning over the increase in petrol prices due to fuel subsidy removal announced by Tinubu during his inaugural presidential speech.

Tinubu’s aide on digital media Olusegun Dada in a tweet said “the official vehicles of the president and principal aides make up less than 10% of the Motorcade” under criticism.

“The other vehicles in the Presidential motorcade belong to Several State Governors, heads of all security agencies, Party Leaders and political associates of the President who were all at the airport to receive him,” Dada said.

Obi calls Tinubu “Mr President” and deletes tweet
Amid a wave of critisms and defence from Tinubu’s supporters, Obi said “sacrifices for a better Nigeria must start from the leaders at all levels of government.”

The Labour party candidate in the initial tweet said he is yet to see the video “allegedly showing Mr President with about a 120-car convoy.”

Peter Obi’s deleted tweet

Hours after his comment, Obi deleted the tweet and replaced with another that does not address Tinubu as president.

“We cannot continue to preach for the people to sacrifice without sacrificing too,” Obi said in a later tweet. “The sacrifices must now start from the leaders visibly, and measurably at all times because the people are suffering. We must now be at the forefront of addressing the suffering.”