By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
The Presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP) in the just concluded presidential election, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi has made it categorically clear that he will not be interested in being part of a rumoured Government of National Unity (GNU) being suggested by politicians in the face of disputed February 25 Presidential Election which the flag bearer of All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
This is even as the former Anambra state governor insists that he has implicit confidence on the Nigerian judiciary, pointing out that he had twice benefited from the pronouncements of the courts of the land when he dramatically recovered his stolen mandates in Anambra state from the courts.
Speaking on Channels Television breakfast programme Sunrise Daily monitored in Abuja on Thursday, Obi said that his political struggle is not for personal aggrandisement but to deepen the democratic processes and strengthen the rule of law to ensure good governance which will translate to better life for average Nigerians.
For this reason, he said he will not participate in any government that the process that threw up such government is flawed, pointing out that he is ready to go the whole hog to contest the declaration made by INEC in the February 25 presidential election.
Said he: “Honestly, I will not be part of any Government of National Unity. Right now, I am challenging the process that led to the declaration of the Presidential election winner by INEC. I have no problems with the person declared a winner by INEC but I have big problem with the process which led to the declaration”.
The two-term governor of Anambra state once again took a swipe on INEC, insisting that the Commission did a bad job and has betrayed the trust of Nigerians and International Community who he said are still dazed by the outcome of the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Said he: “I have continued to say that Nigeria elections are transactional and except we stop this type of elections, we will continue to lament. Look at the humongous amount of money Nigeria government gave INEC to conduct simple election; $1 billion which is about N700 billion was given to INEC yet it failed to deliver a simple election.
“I have said that if I am incharge of Nigeria, we will not spend such huge amount of money to conduct elections. It’s criminal and unless we stop this type of brigandage we will not be out of the woods”.
Obi described likened INEC’s inability to upload polling units results to its viewing portal (iREV) on February 25 Presidential Election to someone who is expected to serve three course meal at a dinner but served only the appetisers and withheld the main course.
“You can check out all the promises the INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu made prior to the Presidential election on the capacity and capability of the Commission to use technology to deliver a free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria . Yakubu said thousand times including at Chatham House in London how perfect the BVAS and IREV will work on election days yet he failed woefully to deliver on the promises.
“He made Nigerians and the world to believe BVAS and IREV would work and, of course, we believed it. You can verify from my statement and even that of APC candidate at Chatham House, we believed INEC was sincere and the BVAS and IREV would work but look at the mess they made of common election.
“Soon, our neighbours Ghana will hold General Election and without technology and without spending the huge amount of money we spend in Nigeria, Ghana will conduct near perfect elections. Why is our own different?”, he lamented.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party flagbearer who has taken his case to court to challenge the outcome of the February 25 Presidential election which he participated in, has restated his trust in Nigeria Judiciary to give him and his party justice.
According to him: “I have implicit confidence in the Nigerian judiciary and l believe they are part of our society and feel the pulse of the citizens on how they feel about the outcome of the February 25 Presidential election. I have the feeling that the right thing will be done at the end of the day”.
Obi said that he has been in the same situation when he had to go to court to challenge the process that placed him in disadvantaged position when he contested the governorship elections in his home state of Anambra.
On the performance of Labour Party in the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections and his expectations for the March 18 Governorship and Houses of Assembly elections in Nigeria, Obi said he is quite pleased to win in as many states and Abuja even when he was not given a chance to pull a surprise.
“For a party they said has no “structure” to do well, although we believe we won more than credited to us, is something to be grateful to God for and that is why I am going round to thank Nigerians who believe in what we are trying to achieve.
“That said, I can say we polled more votes than we were given and that is why we are challenging the process of the election. I have been travelling across states to thank our people and support our governorship and State Houses of Assembly candidates.
“We are encouraging our supporters to come out enmass to vote for our candidates like in Lagos, Abia, Plateau, Rivers, Enugu, Delta, Nasarawa and states where Labour Party has strong candidates. We support them to win”, Obi concluded.