Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, spoke out on Thursday about the presidential election held last Saturday, stating that it was plagued by irregularities.
During a press conference in Abuja, the former governor of Anambra State alleged that the election process, which resulted in Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress being declared the president-elect, was “rigged” to achieve specific outcomes. Obi pledged to exhaust all legal avenues in an effort to reclaim his “mandate” and insisted that he had emerged as the winner of the presidential election.
Below is the full text of the address:
“Again, my dear people,
Let me correct an impression because I’m seeing some people saying in the media that I released one news or the other. I have never, directly or indirectly, spoken or released any message since after voting on the 25th. My last comment to the media was immediately after voting on the 25th, and I’ve never done so until now. So, whatever you see in the media please disregard. It’s not coming from me directly or indirectly.
“This is my first time of speaking to the media, and I thank all of you for your understanding. For me, it is a very simple thing to speak to Nigerians who on the 25th of February trooped out en masses as committed citizens to participate in what all of us have called an existential election, for a supposedly free, fair, credible presidential and national assembly election. We give thanks to God.
“For me, the number one thing is gratitude. Gratitude to God Almighty that continues to protect and bless our dear country Nigeria. Number two is gratitude. Gratitude to Nigerians that participated in the election, answering the call as true citizens in our dear country. Number three is gratitude to those of you Nigerians, especially the youth, that believed and worked tirelessly for a new Nigeria, I thank them for their hard work. Gratitude to the Obidients, Youths, those who believe that a new Nigeria is possible, and I say to them that a new Nigeria is possible, and we will work for that new Nigeria.
“The resilience, the hard work, for a new Nigeria should not wane. Datti and I remain committed to that new Nigeria. I know how they will be feeling now because of the way the elections have come and gone. The commitment of Nigerians, even in the face of unwarranted attacks, is a testimony that a new Nigeria is indeed possible. I look at people like Lady Jennifer who was stabbed but insisted on voting, and that gives me courage to believe that a new Nigeria is indeed possible –and there are so many other Nigerians.
“The election that we just witnessed has been conducted and results announced as programmed. It is a clear violation of the electoral rules and guidelines as we were promised. This election did not meet the minimum standard expected of a free, transparent, credible fair election. It will go down as one of the most controversial elections ever conducted in Nigeria.
“The good and hardworking people of Nigeria have again been robbed by our supposed leaders whom they trusted. However, very humbly, I must appeal to all Nigerians to remain peaceful, law-abiding, and conduct themselves in the most responsible manner. Please be assured that Datti and I, and indeed all of us, this is not the end but the beginning of the journey for the birth of a new Nigeria. Datti Baba-Ahmed and I remain undaunted and committed to the project of a new Nigeria that will be built on honesty, transparency, fairness, justice, equity.
“All the above starts with a process. The process through which people come into office is far more fundamental, more important than what they do thereafter. It is my belief that if you must answer “His Excellency”, the process through which you arrive to office must be excellent.
“We must now require that we do the right things. It has to generate the confidence and moral authority to lead. As you know, the destruction of a society begins and gradually progresses when we act rascally, with the deliberate manipulation of the rule of law and the suppression of the will of the people. During my campaign we have been saying that we will govern by the rule of law because we know what not doing that will bring about.
“I assure the good people of Nigeria that we will explore all legal and peaceful options to recall our mandate.
“We won the election, and we will prove it to Nigerians.
“Please, do not despair. We have elections coming up on the 11th. I enjoin you to go out. Campaign. Come out and vote in that election. We still have so many massive support out there that we need for our subnational and state assemblies. Please, come out and be part of that election. I assure you that I will be part of it. I assure you that I am totally committed to a better future in this country, and nothing will stop that. Datti’s commitment, my commitment, is total.
“Be rest assured that your support will not be in vain and you will not find us wanting. We must build a better Nigeria where Nigerian youth will be happy, glad to call their own country.
“Thank you and may God Almighty continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”