George Galloway, a member of the British Parliament between 1987 and 2015, says President Bola Tinubu, whose victory in the February 25 election is being challenged in court, lacks the moral standing to speak out against the ongoing coup in the Republic of Niger.
Mr Galloway, famed for his brutal candour, asserted that he only recently learnt that Mr Tinubu was a bagman for mafia and drug dealers. He said these were discouraging attributes for someone tasked with leading a country.
“To my absolute astonishment, forgive my ignorance; I had no idea that this man was a bagman for the mafia and the drug dealers in Chicago, Illinois, which doesn’t seem like a great qualification for the leader of Nigeria,” the former British MP said in episode 263 of his podcast, Mother of All Talk Shows (MOATS), aired August 9.
“These people are now talking about democracy in Niger; many of them don’t have the leg to stand on, do they?” Mr Galloway said, throwing a jab at Mr Tinubu’s so-called moral compass to condemn the coup.
The candid MOATS host said Mr Tinubu was still defending himself against a barrage of allegations that he rigged himself into power at the presidential elections petitions tribunal but continues to parade himself like someone upright to criticise the Niger junta.
“First of all, there are very serious and credible allegations of electoral corruption in his own election, and it’s still actually before the court,” said an opinionated Mr Galloway.
“The opposition have never accepted his election,” he stated.
Further slamming Mr Tinubu, the former British MP said it was bizarre for the Nigerian leader to state that he “can’t accept the affront to democracy that the coup in Niger, according to him, represents” given that he “doesn’t have the greatest democratic credentials himself.”
Think tanks like the Chatham House and foreign observers like the European Union had faulted Nigeria’s presidential poll, asserting it lacked transparency.
On Thursday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), under the chairmanship of Mr Tinubu and the presidency of Omar Alieu Touray, activated military troops to standby to “restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.”
This was after West African leaders, on July 30, gave the military junta one week to give up power or face possible military intervention.