The Labour Party says the trending video alleging that its presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, declared the 2023 presidential election as ‘religious war’ is being fired by the All Progressives Congress to make Obi abandon his court case against the outcome of the election.
Dr Tanko Yunusa, chief spokesperson, Obi-Datti Campaign Council, stated this in a press release. According to him, “It is on record that Mr Obi maintained his commitment on issue-based campaign about a New Nigeria characterized by justice, equity, fairness and prosperity.
“He repeatedly stated that no one should vote for him based on tribe or religion, but rather on the assessment of character, competence, capacity, credibility and compassion.
“In the past few weeks, Mr Obi has been contacted by associates, elder statesmen, family and friends with concerns for his personal safety. These concerns have increased intensely in the last few days as immense pressure has been mounted directly on Mr Obi to leave the country, no doubt from sources allied to the All Progressives Congress.
“Mr Obi has been repeatedly told that he has a choice to leave the country or face the prospect of being arrested on false charges of inciting insurrection in the country.
“It is regrettable that state institutions have become part of a well-calculated, deliberate and orchestrated campaign of calumny by the APC to discredit and delegitimize Mr Peter Obi and compel him to abandon his right to seek redress in court following the outcome of the last election which was adjudged both locally and internationally to have failed to meet any standard of credibility or fairness.
“They are circulating a fake doctored audio call. At no time throughout the campaign and now did Mr Peter Obi ever say, think or even imply that the 2023 election is or was a religious war. It is very sad and wicked the attempts to manipulate Nigerians. Our legal team has been instructed to take appropriate legal actions against Peoples Gazette and others.
“Despite the public denunciation of the fake audio call, its contents have been translated to other Nigerian languages and circulated in most parts of Northern Nigeria with some of our Moslem clerics deceived and instigated to use the contents for their sermons at various Mosques during the usual Friday prayers. This is a dangerous development at a time when the APC led-government and the APC party which have been awarded undeserved and unfair victory should be more concerned in addressing the ethnic and religious frictions unfortunately created by the outcome of the elections.
“Yet unsatisfied but determined to cause more problems, Mr Lai Mohammed, who fancies himself as modern day Gobbeal, is on a tour of some selected countries to present an alternative story about the 2023 discredited election, and from his first statement in Washington has assumed the role of the courts by stating that Mr Obi has no pathway to victory.
“There are many more campaigns of calumny against Mr Peter Obi planned for the near future both before and during the court process. However, we want to make it clear to APC that Obi, a widely travelled man, has no intention to leave the country irrespective of the pressure on him and his family. He is determined as he had stated in his first and only press conference after the election to challenge the outcome of the election and the process has begun. It is his fundamental right!
“While we call on all concerned Nigerians and the International Community to caution APC to stop their nasty attacks, Obi’s focus and commitment to lawfully and peacefully retrieve our mandate to secure and unite our Nation, take Nigeria from consumption to production, pull millions of Nigerians out of multidimensional poverty especially in the North and jumpstart prosperity through agricultural, industrial and technological revolution remains unchanged.
“He has continued to impress upon his supporters of the essence of the legal process and will not now or in the future encourage any violence against the state. He has absolutely no reason for this nor desperate especially as throughout the campaign, he called for a new Nigeria defined by opportunities for all, an end to poverty and criminality in government, especially corruption and an end to tribal and religious division and bigotry.”