Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, has warned presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, against inciting violence over the outcome of the presidential election.
NAN reports that Mohammed spoke in Washington DC during his official engagements with some international media organisations on the just concluded 2023 polls.
The minister accused Obi of inciting people to violence while seeking redress in court over the outcome of the election.
In a recent interview, Datti Baba-Ahmed, vice-presidential candidate of the LP, had said Bola Tinubu did not meet the constitutional requirements to become Nigeria’s president.
Baba-Ahmed said Tinubu failed to fulfil the requirements stipulated in the section of the 1999 constitution (as amended) for election to the office of the president.
The LP vice-presidential candidate had asked the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) not to swear in Tinubu as president.
His comments had elicited widespread criticism with some stakeholders calling on security agencies to take action.
“Obi and his vice, Datti Ahmed cannot be threatening Nigerians that if the president-elect, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is sworn in on May 29, it will be the end of democracy in Nigeria,” NAN quoted the information minister as saying on Monday.
“This is treason. You cannot be inviting insurrection, and this is what they are doing.
“Obi’s statement is that of a desperate person, he is not a democrat that he claimed to be.
“A democrat should not believe in democracy only when he wins election.”
The minister said there was no possibility of victory for either Obi or Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in their challenge of the election results.
He said they both failed to meet the constitutional requirements to be declared as president.
“The constitution has stringent criteria for anybody who wants to be president of the country,” he said.
“Only the president-elect met the criteria by scoring 8.79 million votes and having one-quarter of all the votes cast in 29 states of the federation.
“You cannot win election in a poll where you came a distant third position and failed to meet constitutional requirements.
“Peter Obi, while complaining of fraud, has not disowned his victory in Lagos.”
Elaborating on his mission to the US, the minister said he was there to correct the negative narratives being promoted by the opposition on the election.
“We have come here to balance that skewed narratives and to tell the world unambiguously that the just concluded general elections in Nigeria is the fairest, most transparent and authentic in the history of Nigeria,” he said.
“The election is the most fair and credible because of the introduction of bimodal voters verification system (BVAS) which I regard as a game changer.”