The All Progressives Congress campaign council has said the manner in which the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, rode on the waves of religion and ethnicity in Saturday’s election shows that he will go down in history as the country’s “most dangerous and divisive politician.”
The claim was made by the Special Adviser on Media and Communication for the PCC, Dele Alake, at a press conference in Abuja to address the allegation of rigging and collusion with the electoral umpire.
The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was announced the winner of the keenly contested Saturday’s presidential election on Wednesday.
Tinubu had polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat the LP flag bearer and his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, by 6,984,520 and 6,101,533 votes respectively.
But both Atiku and Obi have kicked against the results with each claiming that the election was fraught with violence and massive rigging.
Consequently, they have resorted to take their case to court for redress.
While mocking LP’s attempt to convince the court, Alake stated that he couldn’t imagine how a divisive politician like Obi could take advantage of Nigerian youths, who were earnestly in search of a hero.
He said, “For Obi, he would go down as Nigeria’s most dangerous and divisive politician. He elevated his well-known clannish mentality to a most unfortunate height by openly anchoring his campaign on religion and ethnicity. He presented himself as a poster boy for and a champion of our country’s fault lines.
“He took advantage of our youths whose expectations are fast paced, who are uninterested in excuses, and who were in search of a hero. He pumped up their sentiments and rode on their emotions while grandstanding as a saviour. It was a false pretence. Obi’s credentials are eternally stained as a former governor with no remarkable legacy.
“Not a few of our youths thought Peter Obi looked like the leader they wanted and many of them could not tolerate any form of scrutiny of their newfound hero. They chose wilfully to canonise him while insisting no one should ask questions. The combination of the disgruntled youths, the ethnic champions, and commercial clerics was the reason Obi thought he could win a presidential election in Nigeria. Such illogic is not strange to the Labour Party.
“If Labour Party could not fill up its quota for polling booth agents with a shortfall of over 40, 000, how did it intend to compete with political parties like APC and PDP? It would be interesting to see what evidence of rigging Labour Party will present before the court when the party could not appoint agents to monitor nearly a quarter of the venues of election,” he said.
While applauding Obi and Atiku’s decision to shift their battle to the judicial turf, Alake stated that it would be a miracle to see how they hoped to overturn the election results in court.
The former Lagos commissioner reiterated that by the time they were through with their journey, the APC train would have left the station in its bid to make the country better for all Nigerians.
“As we look forward to an encounter with both the PDP and LP at the court, we want to enjoin the two of them to pursue their grievances with decorum. They should encourage their members, supporters, and ethnic and religious consultants to follow the path of the rule of law.
“The claim that INEC did not use the BVAS is false. Those who voted across Nigeria, including Atiku and Obi, were accredited by BVAS. Save for bad losers that these two people have proved to be, we should rather be celebrating the tremendous improvement the use of BVAS has brought to our electoral process. The complaint over the electronic transmission of the result is not supported by law.
“Section 38 of the Electoral Act 2022 referred to by the PDP and LP has nothing to do with transmission of election results. Section 60, subsection 2 of the Act deals with transmission of results and it is at the discretion of INEC. The Act does not contain any mandatory provision regarding the transmission of results,” he stated.
Reacting, the Chief Spokesman for Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, said the continuous attack on Obi by the ruling party was a desperate attempt to shield their fear.
Tanko stated that virtually all the supporters of the President-elect know that he didn’t win the election and would soon be found out in the court hence the deliberate to resort to intimidation.
He said, “When the APC said our principal is dangerous, he meant somebody they are already scared of. They have never got like him who gave them a serious run for their money. They have employed very criminally-minded individuals who helped them in allocating results to states. That has been exposed. And so they are scared of the fact that we are going to prove that position in court.
“The majority of them who have subverted the will of the people and at the same time, criminally denied the people from voting, end up going to jail. That has been their fear.
“All these antics and statements they are issuing is an attempt of a drowning man who has been found out based on the lies and propaganda they have been spreading. But we as democrats have proved that we are going to rescue Nigeria and put her on the right part while her oppressors would be put to shame.”