By Jude Atupulazi
A new twist has been added to the controversy trailing the 2023 Presidential Election in Nigeria, with former Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir Lawal, saying that the candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, won the February 25 Presidential Election, and not Bola Tinubu, who was declared the winner of that election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
This was followed by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal affirming Tinubu’s election, while Nigerians currently await the decision of the Supreme Court where Obi and Atiku Abubakar went to for redress.
However, Babachir Lawal in a statement on Tuesday said data from independent sources indicated that Obi had the majority votes, while Atiku came second in the election.
According to him, Bola Tinubu came a distant third in the number of votes scored.
The statement partly read, ‘I have resisted the temptation to engage in the contemporary political discourse since the May 2023 Election faux pas.
‘I did this for two reasons; the first being that, as an active player in the drama, I needed time to analyze and digest the data that led to the outcome(s) so I could arrive at an informed decision; the second, being that the rainy season had just set in and I needed to focus my attention on my farms which are the mainstay of my livelihood.
‘The current topical issues for political discourse and inquiry are whether or not Bola Tinubu won the presidential election and/or that he was apriori, qualified to participate in the election, given his murky biodata as is now being publicly unveiled daily in an avalanche.
‘My answer to the first inquiry is that regardless of whatever INEC or Appeal Court said or did, Bola did not win the election.
‘Right from the start of the campaigns, Bola knew he was not going to win the election in a free and fair contest so he decided to go by all means.
‘Available factual data as aggregated from several independent sources indicate that Obi got the majority votes while Atiku came second. Bola came a distant third in the number of votes scored,’ Lawal claimed.
He urged Tinubu to resign to prevent public humiliation and embarrassment.
‘My answer to the second inquiry is that given the now unfolding deluge of uncomplimentary information about who or what he is, ordinarily, sound ethics and morality should have convinced him to voluntarily excuse himself from participation in the election.
‘But this, notwithstanding, I believe he still has time and opportunity to save himself this public humiliation and embarrassment to his person, both locally and internationally, by resigning so that he can give more attention to his health.
‘After all, no one knows about the truism of these severely embarrassing and humiliating exposures about his person than the man himself.
‘Leadership is all about integrity; sound pedigree, trustworthiness, and the ability to unite and instill hope and confidence in the people one seeks to lead. In these qualities, most Nigerians are in total agreement that Bola has them in very very short supply indeed,’ the statement added.
Meanwhile, Lawal said Tinubu had yet to appoint any competent person into office.
‘Bola, the President, and his group, are now in government and are in full control of Nigeria’s vast resources and opportunities. They are enjoying their offices while Nigerians languish in insecurity, poverty and hopelessness.
‘During the campaign, Bola mouthed some platitudes about competence; but we are so far yet to see it reflected in his political appointments. It seems more like he is rewarding people who supported him to get the Presidency at all costs.
‘This band of appointees that Bola is assembling into his government don’t care about Nigeria at all.
‘Fuel prices will continue to gallop upwards until only they can afford it; the Naira will continue to race downhill in a free-fall until only they can afford anything in the market; insecurity will continue its escalation until every community in the nation is consumed by it,’ he said.