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We’ll meet in court, Tinubu accepts Peter Obi’s challenge
Politics

We’ll meet in court, Tinubu accepts Peter Obi’s challenge

President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has expressed his readiness to defend his mandate in court, saying he accepts the decision of the Labour Party

  • PublishedMarch 2, 2023

President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has expressed his readiness to defend his mandate in court, saying he accepts the decision of the Labour Party LP candidate, Mr Peter Obi to challenge the outcome of the election.

Tinubu’s position was made known in a statement issued Thursday in Abuja and signed by the Director, Media and Publicity at the APC Presidential Campaign Council PCC, Mr Bayo Onanuga.

Part of the statement reads; “We watched with dismay today’s press conference addressed by the Presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi where he made very weird and wild claims about the outcome of the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections, an election in which he emerged a second runner up, according to the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“We welcome the decision of Mr Obi to seek redress in court as an aggrieved party if he is convinced of the evidence of electoral frauds he will present before the tribunal as alleged.

“Going to court is part of the electoral process and it is the most decent, statesmanlike and civilised course of action to take. We salute the decision. It is surely better than calling supporters to the streets and instigating social unrest”.

Tinubu added that before Mr Obi goes to court, he (Tinubu) considers it necessary to challenge some specific claims in his press address.

He said contrary to Obi’s statement, it is not true that the election held on 25th February was not free and fair.

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According to Tinubu, the 2023 election is one of the most transparent and peaceful elections in the history of Nigeria.

He said it is because the process was credible that made it possible for Mr Obi’s Labour Party to record the over six million votes it got contrary to the pre-election forecast.

“That Labour Party and Mr Obi surprised bookmakers by winning in Lagos State, Nasarawa, Plateau, Delta and Edo where there are sitting governors of either the All Progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party. Those governors have entrenched political machinery. That Obi won attests to the credibility of the election process. In those states, most of the sitting governors contested election to go to the Senate and lost to little-known candidates of the Labour Party.

“The Labour Party also swept the entire five South East states under the control of either APGA, PDP or APC.

“We believe that the Labour Party Presidential Candidate contradicted himself and exposed himself to public ridicule by suggesting that the election was only credible in states and places his party won.

“We need us to forewarn Mr Obi, that when he gets to court he should be prepared to tell the world how his party won over 90% of votes in his region of South East while other parties got almost nothing. We have evidence of voter suppression, intimidation and harassment in the South East especially of those who came out to vote for our party.

“Also when Mr Obi gets to court, he will have to convince the court with his allegation of rigging in over 40,000 polling units across the country, especially in North West and North East where his party had no party agents and did not sign results sheets as required by law. It is our assumption that the Labour Party will enlist PDP agents to prove its fraud claims since it is an affiliate of PDP.

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“We want to state again for the umpteenth time that Mr Obi didn’t win the presidential election and could not have won under any circumstances. This is because he had no path to winning a national election in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society like Nigeria where a candidate running in a national election must appeal to the cross-section of our pluralistic society.

“Mr. Obi anchored his presidential campaign on the failed strategy of ethnicity and religion, the divisive and dangerous politics that has hobbled the progress of our country for decades.

“Nigerians simply rejected an ethnic and religious bigot through their ballots.

“Mr. Obi all through his campaign presented himself as the candidate of the Christians and the Church, who wanted to help ‘take back their country” from the Nigerian Muslims.

“His campaign also ran on the engine of ethnicity, inflaming strong Igbo sentiments. He also sought to cash in on the supposed youth discontent in Nigeria, as fuelled by the ENDSARS protest in 2020.

“While Labour Party positioned its candidate as the harvester of the youth votes, its planners forgot that Nigeria does not have a homogeneous and monolithic youth population that can deliver bloc vote to any candidate.

“All the major parties that contested the election also have strong youth appeal and supporters.

*The lesson in Mr Obi’s defeat in the election is that no politician in Nigeria can win a presidential race by being a sectional and an anointed candidate of any religion.

“Mr Obi and his party knew why they failed. They knew they had no path to victory with their negative and dangerous campaign.

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“We owe Labour Party and Peter Obi the blunt truth: They failed in the election. No amount of red-herring and misinformation about the election and the outcome can obliterate this reality”, the APC PCC added.

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