Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25, 2023, election has said that it is never God’s wish that elections should be rigged and as such it could not be His wish that such travesty should be allowed to go unchallenged.
The former Governor of Anambra State, at an interview on Arise Television, was reacting to pressure being mounted on him by some people, including religious and traditional leaders, who are suggesting that he should withdraw his case in court and see the outcome of the election, as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the wish of God.
He said it would be similar to saying that it is the wish of God that all the ills that are bedeviling the country should continue, stressing that he is court to challenge the process that led to the declaration of a winner by INEC as well as the declaration itself. He also counseled that such people should not use the name of God in vain.
Mr. Obi, who also brushed aside the suggestion that he won in some parts of the country because of his ethnic background insisted that he got huge votes from non-Igbos across the country, including in Lagos, Plateau, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Abuja and Rivers, where, he pointed out that if the correct results had been collated and announced, he would have scored the highest votes, in spite of the fact that the state’s governor, Nyesom Wike, worked against his election.
He said, for instance, that the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El Rufai, had boasted that he (Obi) would not be able to get 2,000 votes in Kaduna, but that he got over 300, 000 votes in the state. He said that he won in Lagos, not because of Igbo votes, but that the indigenes voted massively for him, and that in Abuja, the seat of the Federal Government, he also defeated all the other candidates convincingly, wondering how many Igbos live in these areas who could have given him such margins of victory or what manner of rigging machinery he could have had at his disposal to achieve such feats.
“How many Igbos live in Lagos? I got more votes from indigenes in Lagos than those you can call visitors,” Mr. Obi stressed.
He said that those who query the percentage of votes he got in Anambra and other South East states should check the percentage of votes that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got when he was running mate to Atiku Abubakar in 2019, insisting that the result was a reflection of the confidence that the people have in him and his capacity to do what he promises to do. “I’m actually surprised I didn’t get 100% in Anambra State because I don’t know who will be voting against me there,” he said.
Mr. Obi also weighed in on behalf of the Governorship Candidate of the party in Lagos State, Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (GRV), dismissing suggestions that his age and lack of experience in governance were handicaps. He said he (OBI) was about the same age that GRV was now when he became Governor of Anambra State and had also not been in any government positions, yet he performed spectacularly to local and international acclaim.
He stressed that what those making such suggestions should be saying is that GRV does not have experience in corruption and bad governance, that he does not have the structure of criminality that the Labour Party is out to dismantle, assuring that GRV will listen to the people and govern like a good leader. “Which experience? I was 41 years when I first campaigned in politics. The only experience these people have is experience of corruption and stealing. We need someone to clean up their mess,” he insisted.