Stephen Ukandu, with Agency Report
The Federal Government has warned the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, against treason and instigating insurrection in the country.
The Government alleged that Obi’s utterances over the February 25 presidential poll, were inciting, and could lead to insurrection.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the admonition in Washington DC during his official engagements with some international media organisations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister is in Washington to engage with international media organisations and Think-tanks on the just concluded 2023 polls.
NAN also reports that the minister had so far engaged respectively with the Washington Post, Voice of America, Associated Press and Foreign Policy Magazine.
During the respective interactions with the media organisations, the minister said it was wrong for Obi on one breath to seek redress in court over the outcome of the polls and on another breath inciting people to violence.
“Obi and his Vice, Datti Ahmed cannot be threatening Nigerians that if the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is sworn-in on May 29, it will be the end of democracy in Nigeria.
“This is treason. You cannot be inviting insurrection, and this is what they are doing.
“Obi’s statement is that of a desperate person, he is not the democrat that he claimed to be.
“A democrat should not believe in democracy only when he wins the election,” he said.
The minister said in challenging the election results, there was no pathway to victory for either Obi or Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to the minister, both Obi and Atiku failed to meet the constitutional requirements to be declared as president.
“The constitution has stringent criteria for anybody who wants to be president of the country.
“Not only must he has the plurality of vote cast in an election, he must also have scored one-quarter of votes cast in at least 25 states.
“Only the President-elect met the criteria by scoring 8.79 million votes and having one-quarter of all the vote cast in 29 states of the federation,” he said
The minister said Atiku who came second with 6.9 million votes was only able to make one-quarter of the votes cast in 21 states.
He said Obi came third with 5.8 million votes but won only one-quarter of votes cast in 15 states.
“You cannot win an election in a poll where you came to a distant third position and failed to meet constitutional requirements.
“Peter Obi, while complaining of fraud has not disowned his victory in Lagos,” he said.
Elaborating on his mission to the U.S., the minister said he was there to correct the negative narratives being promoted by naysayers and opposition on the election.
He said the opposition, having lost in the election was alleging fraud, calling for its cancellation and constitution of the interim government.
“We have come here to balance that skewed narratives and to tell the world unambiguously that the just concluded general elections in Nigeria is the fairest, most transparent and authentic in the history of Nigeria.
“The election is the fairest and credible because of the introduction of the Bimodal Voters Verification System (BVAS) which I regard as a game changer.
“BVAS technology had helped to weed out ghost and illegal voters, eliminate multiple voting and return sanity to the elections.”
Relying on the INEC report, the Minister said BVAS, during the polls, worked 97 per cent giving unparalleled credibility to the elections.
But a lot of individuals and groups including both local and foreign observers have expressed disappointment over the poll which they said, was marred with irregularities.
The failure of INEC to upload results from polling units has been roundly condemned by many who see it as deliberate ploy to manipulate the outcome of the poll.
There have equally been protests in parts of the country against the outcome of the presidential election even as some call for its cancellation.