No Cause For Alarm, We’ll Meet Obi In Court – APC

  • Accuses Labour Party of massive rigging in South East

BY EDMOND ODOK- The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council says there is no cause for alarm as its candidate and President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is ready to engage the Labour Party standard bearer, Peter Obi in court over claims of concrete evidence to prove that he won the election.

In a statement titled; “We will meet Mr Peter Obi in court”, the APC-PCC said; “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.”

The statement signed by the Campaign Council’s Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga said in an election where Obi came third, his allegation of fraud is ‘very weird’, but added that the Labour Party candidate, like every Nigerian, was entitled to seek redress in court based on his conviction.

However, he said; “Before Mr Obi goes to court, we consider it necessary to challenge some specific claims in his press address. Contrary to his statement, it is not true that the election held on February 25 was not free and fair.”

Defending the sanctity of the presidential poll, Onanuga maintained that the 2023 election was one of the most transparent and peaceful elections in the history of the country, adding that Obi’s Labour Party was able to record over six million votes contrary to the pre-election forecast because of the credible electoral process.

According to him, the former Anambra Governor and his party also surprised bookmakers by winning in strongholds such as Lagos, Nasarawa, Plateau, Delta and Edo states where there were sitting governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said Obi’s victory in those regions where the sitting governors had entrenched political machinery, simply attested to the credibility of the electoral process, adding; “In those states, most of the sitting governors contested elections 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 the All Progressives Grand Alliance (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 to forewarn Mr Obi, that when he gets to court he should be prepared to tell the world how his party won over 90 per cent 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 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 result sheets as required by law. We assume that Labour Party will enlist the PDP agents to prove its fraud claims since it is an affiliate of PDP.’’

“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. 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.”

Going further to accuse Obi of running a divisive campaign, Onanuga said; “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.

“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”.

Also in his intervention, the Chief Spokesperson for APC-PCC, Festus Keyamo (SAN) urged the LP candidate to quit playing the victim, saying that evidence abounds showing how his supporters engaged in thuggery, violence and outright falsification of figures.

Keyamo, who is also the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, said; “He (Obi) pretends to play the victim, whereas he is the greatest culprit in this game of brickbats. Mr Peter Obi is always quick to cite some isolated incidents of irregularities outside his strongholds that could not have substantially affected the outcome of the results in those areas, whereas he deliberately fails to comment on tons and tons of evidence circulating everywhere wherein his supporters in his strongholds engaged in thuggery, hooliganism, violence and outright falsification of figures against our party and our supporters.

“Obi knows he could not have won, having played the most divisive religious politics in our history and the pattern of the votes clearly shows that. Obi knows he could not have won having broken out as a fragment of the main opposition, the PDP and all he could hope for was to harvest a portion of the votes of the PDP in a section of the country and the results do not tell a lie.

“Mr Obi knows he could not have won when he presented himself as a tribal candidate and was only campaigning in settlements of his tribesmen in other states outside the South-East instead of appealing to all and sundry.”

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