The Federal Government and the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; and the Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi, were once again at one another’s jugular over the outcome of the 2023 presidential poll, yesterday.
The Federal Government through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, fired the first salvo when it urged Atiku, Obi and other candidates to drop their petitions at the tribunal because they deserved to lose the election won the All Progressives Congress, APC’s, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Countering, the LP declared that the APC-led Federal Government “murdered sleep” by allegedly rigging the 2023 general elections.
Also, the PDP insisted that Atiku won the presidential balloting and alleged that the Federal Government was plotting to blackmail the President Election Petition Tribunal to rule in favour of Tinubu
You deserve to lose 2023 elections, FG tells opposition
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, advised the opposition to stop their endless complaints over the 2023 presidential election which they lost woefully, saying they know very well that they deserve to lose the election because of their overconfidence and complacency.
In a statement issued in Abuja, the Minister said Mr. President’s analysis on the reasons for the opposition’s loss in the 2023 elections was incontrovertible.
He said the President deserves nothing but accolades for delivering undoubtedly the best election in Nigeria’s history, adding that the tempestuous but predictable reaction to the President’s comments by the opposition had shown them for what they are: shameless sore losers.
“President Muhammadu Buhari lived up to his billing by delivering a free, fair and credible election, and his legacy is assured. The President would rather lose his state and many of his party’s strongholds than tamper with the fidelity of the election, and that is why he provided a level playing field for all parties,’’ Mohammed said.
He said the opposition’s overconfidence going into the election stemmed in part from the blitzkrieg of social media propaganda as well as faulty and procured opinion polls, which were apparently meant to hoodwink their foreign backers and a section of the international media into uncritically reporting that they were coasting home to victory, when they were indeed heading into the ravine of defeat.
The Minister said the presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, won the presidential election fair and square, clinching the majority of the votes cast and surpassing the constitutionally-stipulated 25% of votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the states in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
“Going by the results, none of the opposition parties met any of the conditions stipulated for winning the presidential election. They didn’t even come close, in spite of their pre-election grandstanding.
‘’They (opposition) keep leaning on some international observers to justify their fraudulent claim that the election was rigged. They conveniently forgot what Ambassador Johnnie Carson, the revered US diplomat who co-led the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and International Republican Institute (IRI) International Election Observation Mission to Nigeria said: that the APC candidate undoubtedly won the polls.
‘’They also forgot that the African Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria said the atmos
phere was generally calm and peaceful in 95% of the polling units visited,’’ he said, adding that it is on the strength of these reports that many nations, including the US and the UK, wasted no time in congratulating the victorious APC Presidential Candidate.
Alhaji Mohammed slammed the opposition for continuously seeking to mislead the world by clutching at the weak straw that results were not immediately uploaded onto the IReV Portal, as if the portal has any role to play in the collation of results.
‘’The opposition’s insinuation that the failure to immediately upload the result of the presidential election onto IReV affected the credibility of the election is a fraud. It is an act of blackmail and deceit by desperate individuals.
‘’The opposition Labour Party, in particular, will go down in the history books as the first-ever distant third-place finisher in a presidential election anywhere to have bold-facedly claimed victory,’’ he said.
FG, APC murdered sleep by rigging 2023 polls — LP
Countering, Acting National Publicity Secretary of the LP, Obiora Ifoh, came down hard on Alhaji Lai Mohammed over his attempt to echo President Buhari’s thoughts on the outcome of the 2023 general elections.
It equally accused the Minister of “wasting scarce public funds junketing around the United States and the United Kingdom ‘’ in futile attempt to whitewash the disasterous 8 year rule of the outgoing Buhari administration.
Ifoh said: “We just want the Minister to know that by rigging the 2023 general election, himself, his party, All Progressives Congress and the leader of the party, President Buhari have murdered sleep and they do not deserve peace.
The LP Spokesman explained that it was appalling that the Minister chose to progress in the error laden prognosis of his employer, President Buhari about the outcome of the 2023 general elections.
He said: “A few days after President Buhari made that heavily flawed and erroneous remarks on the outcome of the 2023 presidential election claiming that opposition parties lost the presidential election due to their “overconfidence, complacency and bad tactical moves”, it is heart-wrenching to hear the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, still progressing with that warped, illogical and incongruous concept.
“We would rather not join issues with a man who is famous for constantly prescribing doses of expired and ineffectual propaganda to Nigerians.
“ His ill-fated and hugely failed trip to the United Kingdom and United States where he attempted to redeem the grossly battered democratic credentials of this present administration; spending millions of tax payers money to defend an indefensible action is yet another tragedy of President Buhari’s 8 years leadership.
“It is only the blind that will continue to insist that the 2023 presidential election which was massively rigged was free, fair and credible.
“As we have said earlier, the opposition political parties allegedly lost the election because the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC jettisoned the electoral act, having not uploaded the result from the polling unit in real time as promised and in so doing, created room for riggers to have a field day.
“The election witnessed the unprecedented magnitude of violence, ballot snuffing, snatching and manipulations of result from the collation centres using thugs, security agencies, which included police, army amongst others.
“All these issues and a lot more were captured, well documented and have been taken to the appeal tribunal and the matters are ongoing. Mr. Lai Mohammed need not preempt the tribunal as his actions are contemptuous and could be used against him.”
Atiku won 2023 Presidential polls, PDP insists
On its part, the PDP has insisted that its Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, won the February 25, 2023 Presidential election based on the actual votes cast at the Polling Units across the country.
The party described claims by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that the opposition lost the election, as subjudice and part of a series of attempts by the APC-led Federal Executive to bully and blackmail the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
This was contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja, yesterday.
Ologunagba said: “Nigerians are invited to note that Lai Mohammed’s comment is coming after President Buhari made a similar subjudice comment in his widely condemned attempt to justify the rigging of the Presidential election, which case is pending before the Tribunal.
“It is indeed appalling that Lai Mohammed could attempt to defend the outcome of a fraudulently conducted election which has been adjudged as the worst in the history of elections in Nigeria and which has attracted nationwide and international outrage against the Buhari administration.
“By stating that President Buhari deserved “accolades” for conducting a globally condemned Presidential election and describing well-meaning Nigerians as “shameless sore losers”, Lai Mohammed has further confirmed the complicity of the Buhari administration, in which he serves as mouthpiece, in one of the most reprehensible election swindles in the history of democracy. “
The party however said it was not surprised that Lai Mohammed will continue in the trajectory of the Buhari-led APC administration which is notorious for lying, deceit and falsehood.
This, the PDP said, was because Nigerians are aware that by the authentic results obtained from the Polling Units, Atiku Abubakar and not the APC candidate met all the conditions stipulated for the winning of the Presidential election.
According to the party, this situation explained why “the compromised Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) refused to transmit directly and announce results as obtained from the Polling Units as required by law.”
The opposition party stated further that ot was for the umpteenth time cautioning the APC and the Buhari-led Federal Executive against its furtive attempts to bully the judiciary in the handling of the Presidential election petitions pending before the Tribunal.
“The facts of the rigging of the February 25, 2023 Presidential election are well known to Nigerians and the PDP will not relent until it reclaims its mandate at the Tribunal.” Ologunagba added.