The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has described the February 25, 2023, presidential election as the worst in Nigeria’s history and a setback to the democratic process in the country.

This was made known by Peter Obi while featuring on a Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, on Thursday, where he said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) promised so much but failed to even meet the minimum standard.

Why the election is the worst in Nigeria’s history

Obi, who was also a former Governor of Anambra State said,

  • ‘’For me when you go into a competition especially in a transactional country as Nigeria, you expect all sorts.
  • ‘’And whatever is the outcome, the most important thing is to stay on course, and for me, I’m on course in this because we’ve seen probably what I consider the worse election in our recent history because of the Electoral law [Act] of 2022 which gave so much hope and the huge expenditure we put into technology,
  • “Do you know what it means to spend over $1 billion? So, there was so much that was promised and then we went back to what it used to be. For me, that is very devastating.
  • ‘’That a country as big as Nigeria, the giant of Africa and supposedly a nation that should be celebrated globally, 63 years after independence cannot conduct a simple election, just an election. That’s how I feel. But for me the struggle is on, we must reverse the situation.’’

Nigeria downgraded by 2023 poll

Obi, who berated INEC over its failure to transmit results of the presidential election in real-time via its portal, said the conduct of the 2023 exercise has downgraded the country.

He maintained, “Everybody paid so much emphasis on the law and the technology,’’ describing the failures of the exercise as “when you promise so much and don’t even meet the minimum”.

  • Obi stated, “Whenever there is an election announced globally, what it does is that it uplifts the ratings, the status of that society. But every newspaper, I mean go and read the punch editorial on Sunday. It has never happened before where we have bad editorial globally and internally where people are saddened.’’

He says the conduct of the presidential election has further dampened the morale of youths who had so much hope in the process.

The LP candidate, who has challenged the declaration of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the exercise, is, however optimistic about getting justice.

  • He added, “I am not hurt or saddened personally but I am for my country and the future it portends for the young ones and the future generation because we can’t go on this way,” he said. “We must build and bequeath them a better future.”

Obi said he is “on course” to getting justice.

For catch up

  • Recall that on March 1, 2023, INEC declared the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
  • The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, in his pronouncement said that the former Lagos state governor polled a total vote of  8,794,726 to defeat his closest rival and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, who scored  6,984,520 votes, and Peter Obi of Labour party who polled 6,101,533 votes.
  • The presidential candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso came a distant fourth with a total vote of 1,496,687 votes.
  • However, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, in separate press conferences rejected the results of the election and the collation process, saying that they won the election. They have both headed to the court to seek legal redress.
  • INEC has faced a lot of criticisms over its failure to upload the results of the presidential election from all the polling units across the states of the federation to its Result Viewing Portal (IReV) on election day.
  • This made agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party and some others, to stage a walkout from the National Collation Centre in Abuja in protest against the collation and results announced by the commission.
  • Peter Obi in an earlier interview said that he is challenging the process that led to the declaration of the APC candidate, Bola Tinubu, as the winner of the 2023 presidential election and not who they declared as the winner.
  • He later made a U-turn in a tweet posted to his verified Twitter handle, saying he is at the tribunal to challenge both the process and the declaration of the result