Labor Party Presidential Campaign Council (LP-PCC) on Thursday, accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of a well-calculated and orchestrated campaign of calumny to discredit and delegitimise Peter Obi, its presidential candidate, to 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.
LP-PCC in a statement by its chief spokesperson, Obi-Datti Campaign Council, Dr. Tanko Yunusa, insisted that Mr Obi had no intention to leave the country at this time, irrespective of the pressure on him and his family.
“We continue to thank all Nigerians, especially the youths and Obidients as they have remained focused on the core mission of a New Nigeria That Is Possible, even after the presidential elections of February 25, 2023,” he said.
“Before, throughout and after the campaigns, it is on record that Mr Obi maintained his commitment and focus on an issues-based campaign, about a New Nigeria that is possible, a shift of emphasis from consumption to production, as well as a New Nigeria characterised by inclusion, 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
“Most unfortunately, in the past few weeks, Mr Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate in the February 25, 2023, presidential election, has been contacted by associates, elder statesmen, family and friends with concerns for his personality.
”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 APC and its agents in the security services.
”Mr. Obi has been repeatedly and categorically told that he has a choice to leave Nigeria or face the prospect of being arrested on false charges of inciting insurrection in the country.
“It is difficult to fathom and regrettably unfortunate 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.
“As part of the grand design, they are circulating a fake, doctored audio call. At no time throughout the campaign and now did Mr 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 have been instructed to take appropriate legal actions against the media outlets that make themselves willing tools in the hands of APC’s malicious propagandists.
“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 Muslim 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 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 Goebbels is on a tour of some selected countries to present an alternative story about the 2023 discredited election.
“There are many more campaigns of calumny against Mr Obi planned for the near future, both before and during the court process. However, we want to make it clear to the APC party, APC led-government and its agents that Mr Obi, a widely travelled man, has no intention to leave the country at this time, irrespective of the pressure on him and his family.
“Nigerians and the international community to caution APC and the APC led-government to stop their nasty attacks, Mr. 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 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.
“It is for this reason that we appeal to revered religious leaders, especially in the North, not to be part of the grand design of the state apparatus to further increase the religious and ethnic divide in the country.
”Irrespective of the outcome of the court process, we have the obligation to strive for the peace and co-existence of all Nigerians. We call on President Buhari to rein in his desperate officials at all levels as their actions or inactions could lead to unnecessary crises in the country.
“Elections are over, and we are in court to retrieve our stolen mandate. We reiterate that we are doing so through all lawful and peaceful options in line with our legal system and constitution, and I continue to implore all Nigerians to remain peaceful and law-abiding.
“Those fixated on heating up the polity, creating divisions, tensions and hatred within and outside Nigeria should remember that Nigeria is our only country. Our focus should be on how to address the litany of challenges facing us, such as deliberate non-adherence to the election process, the parlous state of our economy, unsustainable debt burden, lamentable unemployment and inflation, insecurity and multi-dimensional poverty. A new Nigeria is, indeed, possible and God will help us.”