‘Copy-cat’: It’s commonsense S’Court doesn’t give judgement on public opinion, presidency, APC reply Obi


Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, has criticised Peter Obi, the former Presidential candidate of the Labour Party LP over his recent press conference calling out the Supreme Court for affirming President Bola Tinubu as winner of the last general elections in February.

Obi had on Monday addressed a press conference in Abuja, where he called out the Supreme Court and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for not declaring him the winner of the last elections.

Obi also claimed the Supreme Court justices didn’t consider public opinion in delivering their judgement.

The apex court had dismissed the appeals filed by the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, against Tinubu’s victory at the polls.

In reaction to Obi’s press conference in regards to the Supreme Court ruling, Onanuga accused Obi of running the most hateful, divisive and polarising campaign that pitched Christians against Muslims and one ethnic group against the other in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society like Nigeria.

He said such development should be a matter for deeper examination in Nigeria’s electioneering system.

Onanuga said, “We are at a loss as to how the copy-cat Obi and his faction of the Labour Party convinced themselves they won an election in which they came a distant third.

“The grand delusion that made Mr. Obi believe he could have won a national election where he ran the most hateful, divisive and polarising campaign that pitched Christians against Muslims and one ethnic group against the other in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society like Nigeria should be a matter for deeper examination.

“At the press conference where he tried, in vain, to gaslight Nigerians with false claims and innuendos, Mr. Obi contradicted himself.  Here was a beneficiary of judicial pronouncements in the past now castigating the same court because its judgment did not go his way.

“Mr. Obi claimed the Supreme Court justices didn’t consider public opinion in delivering what has been applauded as a most profound judgement in an election appeal where the Labour Party candidate presented the most watery and unreasonable petition before any court in the history of electoral cases in Nigeria.

Onanuga further accused Obi of falsely alleging rigging and other election malpractices while failing to show proof to back up his accusations in both the court of first instance and the Supreme Court.

“He made false allegations of rigging and other electoral malpractices yet could not produce any evidence to back up his claims at both the court of first instance and at the apex court. In a failed effort to mobilise and retain the support of his supporters, Obi gave them a forlorn hope that he won the election and would prove it before the courts.

“Throughout the trial, his lawyers didn’t present any alternative results different from the results INEC uploaded on the IReV portal and the ones signed by all party agents from the 176,000 polling units.

“We wonder how the Labour Party candidate expected  the courts to do justice on the basis of rumours, lies and false narratives by sponsored partisans and fanatical members of his Obidient Movement.

“We expected the Labour Party candidate to know that the Supreme Court or any other court does not give judgment based on public opinion and mob sentiments. Judicial pronouncements are based on evidence, precedents and the rule of law.

“Having admitted that the Supreme Court ruling brought an end to litigation and any challenge to the bona-fide of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the validly elected leader of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Obi should have congratulated President Tinubu for his victory and pledge his support, in the spirit of statesmanship.

“But instead, he brought up extraneous matters that he thought the apex court should have considered to declare him the winner. In our view, the drowning Obi, just like Atiku, was merely attempting to hold on to a straw in raking up new allegations, which exist only in his imagination and that of his hordes of supporters.

Onanuga also urged the Labour Party standard bearer to find another vocation to engage his time henceforth, having lost the elections at the polls and at the courts.

He said, “Our admonition to Mr. Peter Obi is to find another worthwhile vocation to engage his time henceforth, having been rejected by majority of Nigerians who didn’t consider him qualified to lead our country.

“Nigerians rejected Peter Obi and his demagoguery at the poll because he posed  present and future danger to the peace, progress and stability of our country.

“Obi’s antecedents as Governor of Anambra for eight years didn’t inspire any confidence as someone capable of running a country like Nigeria. No tangible records of achievement in the state he governed recommended him for the Presidency of Nigeria.

“If Mr. Peter Obi truly believes in Nigeria, the time to prove it is now when all men and women of goodwill are rallying support for President Tinubu in his determination to lead a new era of prosperity, inclusive governance and economic growth in Nigeria.

“Finally, we welcome Obi and his party to play the role of the opposition and start preparing for another shot at the presidency in 2027.

“We hope by then he would campaign on issues and not whip up religious and ethnic sentiments as he did in the last campaign.

In a separate statement, Felix Morka, the National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), also criticized Obi for accusing the Supreme Court for not taking into consideration public opinion in its ruling.

“Mr Obi’s gross inability to distinguish between his warped version of public opinion and reality has been his greatest undoing throughout the electioneering season.

“Taken by the mass hysteria of his vociferous netizens and fringe supporters, Mr Obi ensconced himself in alternate reality, a parallel political universe of self delusion.

As “someone who has previously benefited from the rulings of the Supreme Court on electoral matters”, Obi’s acerbic attack on the judiciary only belies his arrogance and vainness.

“When the same courts previously decided in his favor, the courts were beacons of democracy. Now that the decisions are against him, all of a sudden, the courts have betrayed democracy.

“Mr Obi, it cannot always be about you. It must always be about our country. Cases are not won on public opinion, they are won on evidence and the law. You failed on both counts.

“We welcome Mr Obi’s decision to engage in opposition politics going forward.

“We urge Obi and his Labour Party to do so maturely and constructively, and contribute to the important task of building a safer, stronger and more prosperous country for us all.”



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