The head of the WTO denied rumors that she ignored Bola Tinubu, the president of Nigeria, during the just finished Summit for a New Global Financing Pact in Paris, France, using her verified Twitter account on Saturday.
At the Summit, which also included President Tinubu, Okonjo-Iweala shared photos with several of the participating African presidents, including those of Senegal’s Macky Sall, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, and Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema.
Social media users in Nigeria, particularly those who identify as “Obi-dients,” or supporters of Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, praised Okonjo-Iweala for allegedly snubbing Tinubu at the international event.
As a result, many ‘BATists’ on the internet—those who support President Bola Ahmed Tinubu—started to fire what could be described as a counter salvo before learning whether the claim that the former Nigerian minister of finance ignored Tinubu at the Paris Summit was true or false.
They said that despite attending the summit called by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, President Tinubu was purposefully left out of the pictures.
However, Okonjo-Iweala returned to her verified Twitter account on Saturday night to refute the accusations made against her amid the social media fight between the two groups of Nigerians.
She tweeted more photos she had taken during the summit with President Tinubu, Nigerian billionaire Tony Elumelu, and others, explaining that the prior photos she had posted with other African Presidents had been done in the sequence she had gotten them from her colleagues and accompanying staff.
She said that it was unnecessary and unjustified to ascribe an ulterior motivation or meaning to her conduct (the sequence in which she posted her photos), even as she urged for unity of purpose and a halt to additional attacks by Nigerians.
Okonjo-Iweala urged Nigerians to unwind in a letter. Interesting assaults on all sides in regards to Paris. Sadly demonstrates how deeply divided our society is. In the order that accompanying staff or coworkers send them to me, I share images. It is inappropriate to infer more from it. Instead of attacking, let’s work together to create our nation.