Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, has challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to explain why the commission uploaded the results of the national assembly poll results but refused to upload the result of the presidential election held the same day.
Obi who threw the challenge while featuring on a national television, Arise, said it was very strange and curious for the electoral umpire to upload the poll results of national assembly poll through its Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, machines, but failed to do same for the presidential poll held the same time.
The LP presidential flag bearer accused INEC of deliberately creating confusion to subvert the will of the people.
Obi said he had no personal issue with the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu who INEC declared winner of the exercise but was only challenging the process through which he purportedly emerged.
“Why is INEC not open? The process is far more fundamental. We must respect the rule of law. We need to have a transparent and credible process.
“We must have a society where things are done accordingly for the world to take us seriously.
“Why is INEC not obeying court order? The rule of law has to be obeyed. Respect for the rule of law is what makes US, UK and EU very strong.
“There were a lot of expectations from INEC. The world expected from Nigeria free, fair and credible election but INEC dashed the hope.”
Obi who claimed he had the highest number of rightful votes at the presidential poll, vowed not to give up but follow through the legal processes to reclaim his mandate.
“We will do whatever is necessary within the law to get to the truth of who actually got the highest number of votes.”
Responding to a question on the allegation by Remo Omokri that he rigged election in South East where he scored over 95%, Obi said he had no cause to ask anybody to manipulate the poll results in his favour.
He challenged any INEC official or security agent he ever approached for compromise to show up.
“I have never asked, and will never ask anybody to rig election for me,” Obi said.
Obi explained that he also got about 95% votes in Anambra State in 2019 when he was the running mate to Atiku of the PDP.
The LP candidate, further said that contrary to insinuations, he had no partnership with the PDP, explaining that both parties were only challenging a questionable process.
“We are only challenging a wrong and faulty process because we were all participants,” he said.
He said that he had much respect for Atiku but politically both of them were different.
“Yes, I respect Atiku but when it comes to a new Nigeria, we are different.
“I’m committed to a new Nigeria,” Obi declared.
Obi expressed shock at the tribal colouration being given to his victory in Lagos where his Igbo supporters have now become objects of attacks.
He said that his supporters in Lagos cut across different ethnic groups and political backgrounds.
The LP candidate further noted that Ndigbo had also voted overwhelming for presidential candidates from other tribes in the past.
“In 2003, Obasanjo got over 90% from South-East despite the fact that our revered elder, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegeu Ojukwu, was also contesting in that election. No Yoruba living in the South-East was killed for it.
“Abiola got massive votes from the South-East inspite of the fact that his opponent, Bashiru Tofa, had his running mate from South-East. And when when it came to defending Abiola’s mandate, within NADECO, Igbos like the Late Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu and Chief Ralph Obioha whose businesses were destroyed, were at the forefront.
“Also, Jonathan got massive votes from the South-East when he ran for the presidential race,” Obi explained.