•Report by Kamil Opeyemi
The Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, up on the claim that he won last Saturday’s presidential election, accusing him of attempting to delegitimize the mandate given to its candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Recall that, Tinubu was declared the winner by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday with 8,794,726 votes.
According to INEC, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second with 6,984,520 votes while Obi came third with 6,101,533 votes.
Reacting to the result declared by INEC in a press briefing on Thursday, Obi claimed that he won the poll adding that he will explore all legal options to reclaim his mandate.
“We will explore all legal and peaceful option to reclaim our mandate. We won the election and we will prove it to Nigerians.
“I am challenging the process.This is very unfair. It is the least expected of Nigeria,” Obi had said during the press briefing
However, in a swift reaction to the claim by the Labour Party candidate, the Tinubu-Shettima Campaign Council in a statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson, Festus Keyamo, described Obi’s claim as “outlandish”.
“We make this brief statement in reaction to the Press briefing held earlier today by the defeated candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, wherein (in his now well-acknowledged penchant for spewing falsehood) he made the outlandish claim before the world that he won the 2023 Presidential Election, but he was robbed of the victory.
“Having been officially declared winner of the 2023 Presidential Election by the Independent National Electoral Commission and having received his Certificate of Return (along with his Vice-President Elect), the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu would have ignored these continuous false claims being peddled by Mr. Peter Obi and his supporters. But we recognise his motive of doing this is to simply delegitimise the mandate freely given to the President-Elect by the majority of Nigerians.
“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. He pretends to play the victim, whereas he is the greatest culprit in this game of brickbats,” the campaign council said
That APC PCC claimed that there was no way Obi could have won having played the most divisive religious politics in the history of the country.
“Mr. Peter Obi knows HE COULD NOT HAVE won having played the most divisive religious politics in our history and the pattern of the votes clearly show that; Mr. 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 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; Mr. Obi knows he could not have won having joined the Labour Party few months ago and bought the ticket of the Party without valid Primaries and thereby polarised his party; Mr. Peter Obi KNOWS HE DID NOT WIN because he did not even fulfil the minimum requirement of our constitution which requires a spread of 25 percent in two-thirds of the States of the Federation. He did not come even close. With his divisive rhetorics, he could not have come close.
Noting that Tinubu has extended a hand of fellowship to his opponents, including Obi to join hands with him in nation-building, the APC campaign council said Obi should embrace that hand of fellowship and brotherhood by the President-elect as a committed patriot instead of engaging in this crass grandstanding.
“It is also ludicrous that Mr. Peter Obi is laying claim to victory along with his new-found partner, the PDP, that is also laying claim to victory. I tweeted this morning, thus: ‘’This is the first time in my entire life that I am seeing people who came 2nd and 3rd in an exam both claiming they took first and then agreeing to protest together to the examiner to record that both of them took first, yet they are not seeing the contradiction in their actions.’’ We stand by that comment.
“The President-Elect, ASIWAJU Bola Ahmed Tinubu has extended a hand of fellowship to his defeated opponents, including Mr. Peter Obi to join hands with him in nation-building.
“Mr. Peter Obi should embrace that hand of fellowship and brotherhood by the President-elect as a committed patriot instead of engaging in this crass grandstanding.”