Obi to INEC: “If you did not win the people, you have not won the election”

Obi said that: "the problem of Nigerians is accepting what is unacceptable."

Peter Obi on Arise TV

The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25 presidential election, Peter Obi has insisted that Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared winner in error as the APC presidential flagbearer did not win the people’s mandate.

Peter Obi was speaking on the Morning Show of Arise when said yet again that Tinubu did not win the just concluded election.

According to Obi, “The declared winner of the election did not win,” he said. “To win is to win the people.”He added that democracy is all about the people, therefore to be the winner of an election is to have the mandate of the people.”

“If you did not win the people, you have not won the election,” Obi concluded.

Obi also emphasised that he was challenging the process by which INEC got the results that were announced as, according to him, the process witnessed major flaws and thus produced a flawed outcome as seen in INEC’s announcement of Tinubu as the winner.

He however said that “I’m not challenging who they declared, I’m not challenging whatever the outcome, I’m challenging the process.” He believes that by analysing the process and correcting it accordingly, the outcome will be be resoundingly different.

When asked about his next steps, as it was reported that INEC had refused to provide the electoral collating materials to be analysed by Labour Party as ordered by the court, the former Anambra governor stated that he will go through both the legal process, by telling the court that INEC was in contempt by not obeying the order given to them, and by a peaceful march protest to INEC’s building to request the collation materials.

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Obi therefore urged all ‘Obidients’ and all Nigerians to remain calm while he and his legal team pursue all legal means to prove his claim of victory.

Reacting to the call of some religious leaders for him to accept the result as declared by the electoral body, Obi stated that Nigerians have over time celebrated what he called political rascality and irregularities and thereby making corruption and incompetence to thrive in the country.

According to him, some religious leaders are using the name of God in vain by accepting that all things happen according to the Will of God.

“How can God will that the people should be poor? How can God will that people remain in darkness?”

Obi said that: “the problem of Nigerians is accepting what is unacceptable.”

On the claim that he rigged elections in the southeast where he got over 75 percent of the total votes cast, Obi stated that he has never joined in any form of election rigging.

“I have never and I will never ask anybody to add one vote for me. I have never paid anybody to add one vote for me.

“People know me and they know I keep to my promises,” he said.

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He recalled that in 2019, when he was the running mate to Atiku Abubakar under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Anambra state gave PDP over 90 percent so “I am actually surprised that I did not get 100 percent of the votes in Anambra state”.

He said that he won in Rivers State and that it can be proved if all the votes in Rivers State are counted.

Obi also wondered if he also had the machinery to rig in Abuja and especially in Aso Rock.

He said that people voted massively for him across the country because they believed in “what I stand for and what I do”.

Obi, who was the former Governor of Anambra state, called on voters to go out en mass to support the Labour Party governorship candidates in the states where the party has candidates.

Speaking on Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, LP, candidate of Lagos State, Chijioke Edeoga of Enugu state and Patrick Sunday Dakum of Plateau state, Obi noted that they are candidates with credibility, competence and track records.

According to him, it is about having competent, credible people who have track records “and where we think we have good people, we will support them.”

“We want to build a new politics that thrive on competence, and sincerity,” he said.

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He, therefore, called on Nigerians to disregard the accusations against the Rhodes-Vivour of Lagos state based on ethnicity, adding that those are the activities of people who are trying to hide under what does not exist.

He said that, “The labour party candidate for Lagos remains the best candidate… I can tell you he’s a fantastic guy.”

He however encouraged Nigerians to remain calm, saying “We will go through all legal peaceful means to bring about a new Nigeria.”

He also reiterated that there was collaboration between him and Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the PDP when he stated, “There is no partnership between labour party and the PDP. Both of us are challenging a process that is wrong.”

He then said that while he is going about his own commitments, it does not take away the respect that he has for Nigeria’s president-elect Bola Tinubu, and Atiku.

In reply to the question of his age and lack of experience in Nigerian politics and public service, Obi said that politics is a collaboration between the young and the old, and that there were many who came into governance without having any experience, and that one could learn to serve the people while doing his job. He concluded by saying, “The job of a leader is always listening and learning.”