- By Kamil Opeyemi
“We will explore all legal and peaceful options to reclaim our mandate. We won the election and we will prove it to Nigeria. “I am challenging the process,”
The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, on Thursday insisted that he won the Saturday February 25 election. Obi, at a press conference in Abuja, said he remains “obidient” to the law of the landing, saying he would approach the court to prove that Labour Party won the election.
The LP candidate said the conduct of the election left many Nigerians and the international community disappointed saying that the Independent National Electoral Commission failed in its duty to Nigerians by conducting a free and fair poll.
“We will explore all legal and peaceful option to reclaim our mandate. We won the election and we will prove it to Nigeria.
“I am challenging the process,” Obi said
He said himself and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed remain committed to a new Nigeria.
Obi thanked his youthful followers known as ‘Obidients’, urging them not to be deterred by the outcome of the polls.
“We will work for that new Nigeria that is possible. Datti and I remain committed to that new Nigeria.”
He said the poll did not meet the minimum standard for a free and fair election, adding that the poll will go down as the most controversial election conducted in Nigeria.
Obi lamented that Nigeria cannot conduct election 63 years after independence.
In attendance at the conference is the party’s National Chairman, Julius Abure; as well as the Director-General of Obi’s presidential campaign, Akin Osuntokun.
“This election did not meet the minimum standard expected of a free, fair, transparent and credible election. It will go down as one of the most controversial elections ever conducted in Nigeria.
“The good and hardworking people of Nigeria have again been robbed by our supposed leaders whom they trusted,” he said.
“Let me reassure the good people of Nigeria that we will explore all legal and peaceful options to reclaim our mandate. We won the election and I will prove it to Nigerians,” Obi vowed.
The former governor said he believed the process through which people come into any position was important and there was a need for Nigeria to sanitise the process.
“The process through which people come into the office is far more fundamental, more important than what they do in office thereafter.
“It is my belief that if you must answer your excellency, the process through which you arrive at to office must be excellent.
“We must now require that we do the right thing in order to generate the right confidence and moral authority to lead. As you know, the structure of society begins and gradually retrogresses when we act rascally and deliberately in the manipulation of rule of law and suppression of the will of the people.
He said he had challenged several election results and come out victorious and he would be approaching the court with the firm belief of getting justice.
“On this issue, I am challenging the process. I will challenge this rascality for the future of the country. The court exists for this and they have asked me to go to court and I will be going to court. Remember I’m an ‘Obedient’ and I will obey them,” he said
Asked whether he is under pressure, he said no one can put him under pressure for challenging the rascality.
“Please, be assured that this is not the end but the beginning of a journey for the birth of a new Nigeria.
“Datti and I remain absolutely undaunted and deeply committed to the project of a new Nigeria that will be built on honesty, transparency, fairness, justice, and equity. All the above starts with the process.
“We have to go through this darkness. The structure of criminality can’t go out overnight.
“All we need to show is commitment and resilience. I will be at the forefront and will work through this darkness until daybreak.
According to him, the just concluded election was announced as programmed.
“The election that we just witnessed had been conducted and results announced as programmed. As we were promised. This election did not meet the minimum standard expected of a free, transparent, credible fair election.
“It may go down as one of the most controversial elections ever conducted in Nigeria. The good and hardworking people of Nigeria have again been robbed by our supposed leaders who they trusted.”
Reacting to the question of peace for the sake of the nation, Mr Obi said he has never called for violence since the results were declared.
He, however, noted that if peace means allowing things to stand without challenging the process legally, then that is a line he will not toe.
“I have had several phone calls where I asked people to remain calm and peaceful, that has nothing to do with what I am challenging, I am challenging the process.
“If a process is faulty, it is faulty, in fact, you can’t build peace on a faulty foundation, it cannot happen anywhere in the world,” he said
He stressed that, the foundation has to be right for peace to prevail, adding that it is the foundation of the process that saw the president-elect emerge that will be challenged.
He then pleaded with Nigerians to support this cause, noting that this challenge is about the ordinary Nigerian and the future of the nation.