By Ononye VC
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the last presidential election, Mr Peter Obi, has said that he was saddened on reading the press statement by the Nigerian minister of information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Recall that the minister had in a press statement accused Obi and his vice presidential candidate, Baba Datti-Ahmed, of treason. He said the duo were inciting the citizens to revolt against the announcement of Bola Tinubu who was controversially declared as the president-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
In a release made available to News Band Newspaper, Obi said that he was not perturbed by the minister’s use the word ‘treason’ because, as far as he (Obi) was concerned, he had taken the legal route towards the recovery of his mandate and that he remained committed to that.
“Any person ‘seeing’ treason in a clear legal process should explain to Nigerians how opting for the tribunal by myself and my deputy amounts to treason,” Obi said.
The statement reads: “In the past few days, I’ve observed various campaigns of calumny directed at my person, the latest being allegations attributed to the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, in Washington DC. It is most unfortunate that these consistent efforts to portray me in a manner, quite contrary to what I am and my core values, are coming from such high quarters. Minister Lai accusing me of stoking the fire of insurrection is totally fictitious and malicious. I have never advocated or encouraged anyone to undermine the Nigerian state; I’ve never sponsored or preached any action against the Nigerian state.”
Regretting what he described as “recklessness” by some Nigerians, Obi said it was utterly perplexing that a minister would be busy travelling round the world, telling Nigerians that the purpose was to tell the world the true story of the Nigerian election.”
The former governor of Anambra State said it was laughable, against the background of the fact that most of those countries sent their people to monitor the election and had all received reports from the monitors, as well as from their embassies. Obi asked: “Between Lai Mohammed and their monitors/embassies, who would these countries believe?”
He further said that such reckless behaviour, sponsored with taxpayers’ money, was among the reasons those countries often do not take Nigeria seriously.
“The billions spent on those meaningless trips would be enough to fix several dilapidated schools in the country,“ Obi said.
While urging Nigerians to always remain law-abiding and hopeful for the coming of a new Nigeria, Obi reinstated his steadfast inclination.
He said: “I’m on record, as always, advocating peace and issue-based campaign, not a campaign based on ethnicity or religion. I’m committed to due process and presently seeking redress in court. I urge those engaged in this demarketing process to stop presenting Nigeria in such bad light. Our future generations deserve a new Nigeria where they can live a secure and decent life, like their counterparts in other climes. And this is possible.”