The All Progressives Congress (APC) says it is prepared to go to court with Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, over his claim of electoral fraud in the Feb. 25 presidential election.
Mr Bayo Onanuga, Director of Media and Publicity for the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), stated this in an Abuja statement on Thursday.
The statement was issued in response to Obi’s remarks at a news conference in Abuja.
“We welcome the decision of Mr Obi to seek redress in court as an aggrieved party if he is convinced of the evidences of electoral frauds he will present before the tribunal as alleged.
“Going to court is part of the electoral process and it is the most decent, statesmanlike and civilised course of action to take,“ Onanuga said.
He said the APC PCC salute the decision, adding that it was better than calling supporters to the streets and instigating social unrest.
He, however, challenged some specific claims in Obi`s press address, saying that contrary to his statement, it was not true that the election was not free and fair.
Onanuga said the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly election was one of the most transparent and peaceful elections in the history of Nigeria.
“It is because the process was credible that made it possible for Obi’s Labour Party to record the over six million votes it got contrary to pre-election forecast.
“That Labour Party and Obi surprised bookmakers by winning in Lagos, Nasarawa, Plateau, Delta and Edo States where there are sitting governors of either the APC or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Those governors have entrenched political machinery,’’ Onanuga said, adding that Obi’s win, attest to the credibility of the election process in those states.
He noted that most of the sitting governors contested election to go to the Senate and lost to little known candidates of Labour Party.
He added that the Labour Party also swept the entire five South-East states under the control of either APGA, PDP or APC.
“We believe that the Labour Party presidential candidate contradicted himself and exposed himself by suggesting that the election was only credible in states and places his party won.
“We need to forewarn Obi, that when he gets to court he should be prepared to tell the world how his party won over 90 per cent of votes in his region of South-East while other parties got almost nothing.
“We have evidence of voters suppression, intimidation and harassment in South-East, especially of those who came out to vote for our party,“ Onanuga said.
Onanuga said it was the assumption of the APC PCC that Labour Party would enlist PDP agents to prove its fraud claims since it is an affiliate of PDP.
He stressed that Obi did not win the presidential election and could not had won under any circumstances.
“This is because he had no path to winning a national election in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society like Nigeria.
“Where a candidate running in a national election must appeal to the cross-section of our pluralistic society,’’ he said.
He noted that God created the country in a way to makes it impossible for any part to exist without the other.
He added that the framers of our Constitution also worked to bind our country together.
“What this means is that any aspiring politician for the presidency of Nigeria must have a Pan Nigeria appeal and strong support and must be embraced by adherents of other religions.
“Obi and his party knew why they failed, they knew they had no path to victory with their negative and dangerous campaign.
“We owe Labour Party and Obi the blunt truth: They failed in the election, no amount of red-herring and misinformation about the election and the outcome can obliterate this reality.
“The President-Elect who was the candidate of our party, Asiwauju Bola Tinubu won a Pan Nigeria mandate in a free, fair and credible election.
“He is ready and prepared to assume office so he can serve the people of our country with sincerity and honour,“ Onanuga said. (NAN)