The Federal Government has cautioned Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, against encouraging violence regarding the presidential election’s outcome.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, issued the rebuke in Washington, DC, during his official interactions with international media organisations.
According to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN), the minister is in Washington to meet with international media organisations and think tanks about the recently concluded 2023 elections.
The minister has engaged with the Washington Post, Voice of America, the Associated Press, and Foreign Policy Magazine.
During his encounters with the media, the minister stated that it was improper for Obi, on the one hand, to challenge the election results in court and, on the other hand, to incite violence.
“Obi and his vice president, Datti Ahmed, cannot threaten Nigerians that if Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is inaugurated as president on May 29 it will be the end of democracy in Nigeria.
“This is espionage. You cannot invite an uprising, yet this is precisely what they are doing.
“Obi’s statement indicates a desperate individual; he is not the democrat he claims to be.
“A democratic candidate should not only believe in democracy if he wins the election,” he remarked.
Disputing the election results, the minister stated that neither Obi nor Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, had a path to victory (PDP).
According to the minister, neither Obi nor Atiku met the constitutional qualifications necessary to be declared president.
“The constitution stipulates severe qualifications for anyone seeking the presidency.
“Not only must he have received the majority of votes cast in one election, but he must also have received at least a quarter of the votes cast in at least 25 states.”
“Only the President-elect met the requirements with 8.79 million votes and a quarter of all votes cast in 29 federated states,” he stated.
According to the minister, Atiku, who finished second with 6.9 million votes, only received one-quarter of the votes cast in 21 states.
According to him, Obi came in third place with 5.8 million votes but only won a fourth of the votes cast in 15 states.
“You cannot win an election if you finished in a distant third place and did not meet constitutional conditions.”
“Although claiming fraud, Peter Obi has not rejected his victory in Lagos,” he remarked.
The minister elaborated on his trip to the United States by stating that he was there to address the false narratives being propagated by sceptics and opposition regarding the election.
He stated that the opposition, having lost the election, was alleging fraud and demanding the formation of an interim government.
“We have come here to counter these warped narratives and to inform the world unequivocally that the just-ended general elections in Nigeria were the fairest, most transparent, and most genuine in Nigeria’s history.
“The adoption of the Bimodal Voter Verification System (BVAS), which I consider a game-changer, has made this election the fairest and most credible in history.”