The Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council has responded to the claims on the presidential election by Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), and Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Obi claimed he won the election and that he would prove it in court.
He alleged that the election was rigged in Tinubu’s favour.
Responding to the claim, Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the campaign, said Obi is the biggest culprit of electoral malpractice.
He said: “Mr. Peter Obi is always quick to cite some isolated incidents of irregularities outside his strongholds that could not have SUBSTANTIALLY affected the outcome of the results in those areas, whereas he DELIBERATELY fails to comment on tons and tons of evidence circulating everywhere wherein his supporters in his strongholds engaged in thuggery, hooliganism, violence and outright falsification of figures against our Party and our supporters. He pretends to play the victim, whereas he is the greatest culprit in this game of brickbats.
“Mr. Peter Obi knows HE COULD NOT HAVE won having played the most divisive religious politics in our history and the pattern of the votes clearly show that; Mr. Obi KNOWS HE COULD NOT HAVE WON having broken out as a fragment of the main opposition, the PDP and all he could hope for was to harvest a portion of the votes of PDP in a section of the country and the results do NOT tell a lie; Mr. Obi knows HE COULD NOT HAVE WON, when he presented himself as a tribal candidate and was only campaigning in settlements of his tribesmen in other States outside the South East instead of appealing to all and sundry; Mr. Obi knows he could not have won having joined the Labour Party few months ago and bought the ticket of the Party without valid Primaries and thereby polarised his party; Mr. Peter Obi KNOWS HE DID NOT WIN because he did not even fulfil the minimum requirement of our constitution which requires a spread of 25 percent in two-thirds of the States of the Federation. He did not come even close. With his divisive rhetorics, he could not have come close.
“It is also ludicrous that Mr. Peter Obi is laying claim to victory along with his new-found partner, the PDP, that is also laying claim to victory. I tweeted this morning, thus: ‘’This is the first time in my entire life that I am seeing people who came 2nd and 3rd in an exam both claiming they took first and then agreeing to protest together to the examiner to record that both of them took first, yet they are not seeing the contradiction in their actions.’’ We stand by that comment.”
In another news conference, Atiku made the same claim on the election, saying he would seek legal redress.
In response, Keyamo said: “In the typical fashion of the last kick of a dying horse, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar this evening addressed the Press and claimed that the 2023 Presidential Election was neither free nor fair. He made this bogus claim without providing a shred of evidence, except to trumpet the noise made by his supporters on social media. He also went ahead to make unfounded derogatory comments about the person of the President-elect, ASIWAJU Bola Ahmed Tinubu in obvious bitterness and frustration.
“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar should be thankful that he even exceeded expectations in the elections by coming 2nd; with all the distractions and fractured party with which he campaigned he must have sensed beforehand that he was headed for a humiliating defeat that should have put him a distant 3rd or 4th in the elections. His performance was therefore the best he could achieve.
“Firstly, Atiku Abubakar breached the zoning principle within his own party by insisting on running for President when that was clearly against the mood of the nation; even after emerging as a candidate, the PDP itself continued to rub insult on the faces of southern leaders in the Party by insisting on keeping the position of National Chairman in the North. This obviously led to the rebellion of the G5 Governors and their subsequent sabotage of the PDP before the polls and at the polls by campaigning against ATIKU’S candidature. His failure to unite his party and manage this post-primaries fall-out was his eventual undoing.
“ATIKU’S bid for the Presidency this time around was dead on arrival when his inordinate ambition fractured his party into 3 parts, with Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwanso and Mr. Peter Obi breaking away to the NNPP and the Labour Party respectively. The massive loss he suffered in traditional PDP zones and States is a clear testament to this. One wonders, then, how he expected to have won the election. It is also comical to see that he claims victory at the polls together with Mr. Peter Obi with whom his party has been holding Press Conferences.
“Nigerians have since seen through the ambition of ATIKU Abubakar that it is merely self-serving. Hence, he has run for Presidency at every point in time in the last 30 years, irrespective of the zoning tilt of the nation. Following his successive failures and rejection by Nigerians in different elections, it should be clear to him by now that he is simply UNELECTABLE. The expositions relating his self-confessed mode of syphoning public funds whilst in office through SPVs further dented his aspiration before Nigerians.
“Atiku Abubakar’s decision to challenge the outcome of the results is welcome. We are prepared to meet his challenge, no matter the nature of the challenge, anywhere and anytime.
“If ATIKU Abubakar is not embracing the olive branch extended to him and other losers in the 2023 elections by the President-elect, ASIWAJU Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the least he can do is to quietly relocate to Dubai which has become his traditional home base.”