March 02, (THEWILL) – The Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council has faulted claims by Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), that he won last Saturday’s presidential election.
THEWILL reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday morning, declared Tinubu the winner of the presidential election.
Chairman of the Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, declared that Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes to beat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who got 6,984,520, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), who secured 6,101,533 votes.
But Obi, in his first public appearance since the February 25 elections, claimed during a press conference in Abuja, on Thursday, that his party won the presidential polls, adding that he would approach the court to prove his claim.
However, in a swift reaction to his claim, the Tinubu/Shettima campaign council countered the LP presidential candidate.
The Campaign Council, in a statement issued by its Director of Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson, Festus Keyamo, urged Obi to embrace the hand of fellowship and brotherhood extended by Bola Tinubu, instead of engaging in “this crass grandstanding”.
The statement read: “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 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.
“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 a 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.
“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.”