Our Reporter, Abuja
The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, has emphatically said he won the February 25 presidential election and ready to prove it.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), against the protest of nine other political parties demanding the suspension of collation of the results on Wednesday, declared Bola Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the presidential poll.
According to INEC, Tinubu secured 8,794,726 votes while Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came in second with 6,984,52 votes and Obi third with 6,101,533 votes.
But addressing a press conference Thursday in Abuja, Obi said he will explore all legal avenues to recover his mandate.
Although he admitted that it would be a long drawn court battle, he promised the youths and his teeming supporters of his commitment to the struggle ahead assuring to be at the forefront of it to bring about a new Nigeria.
“That structure of criminality can’t go away overnight, structure of destruction can’t go way overnight, structure that has created one hundred & thirty-three billion people living in multidimensional poverty can’t go away overnight.
“The structure of corruption that has produced over 20 million out of school children in Nigeria cannot go away overnight,” Obi said.
The LP candidate said the 2023 presidential election was arguably the “most controversial” in the country’s history.
Obi, however, encouraged his supporters not to see the outcome of the election as the end, “but a beginning.”
“This election will go down as one of the most controversial elections ever conducted in Nigeria,” he said.
“The good people of Nigeria have again been robbed. However, I appeal to Nigerians to remain peaceful and law-abiding.
“This is not the end but a beginning… We will explore all legal and peaceful options to reclaim our mandate. We won the election and we will prove it to Nigerians.”
Informed that many young people especially his supporters appeared to have lost confidence in the electoral process and are seen in online videos destroying their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs), the LP flag bearer asked Obidients not to be discouraged, urging them to take part in the governorship elections fixed for March 11.
“We have elections coming on the 11th. We enjoin you to go out and vote,” he said.
Obi said he and Datti Baba-Ahmed, his running mate, are “committed” to the cause of a new Nigeria.
“We will work for that new Nigeria that is possible. Datti and I remain committed to that new Nigeria,” he said.
Reacting to the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the election, Obi said: “It is my belief that for you to answer “you excellency”, the process through which you arrive to office must be excellent.”
Obi also noted that the Labour Party would explore all legal means to ensure that his mandate his restored but pointed out that he was not in alliance with the with the Peoples Democratic Party who have also faulted the outcome of the elections and vowed to contest it in Court.