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Suppression of people’s will wrecks societies

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By Timothy Akintola

Obi weighs in on the mass manipulation witnessed in the presidential election.

The much anticipated 2023 general elections in Nigeria was reportedly met with immense violence, voters suppression and other electoral malpractices across the country. Whilst Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress had been declared the President-Elect, this election, which many Nigerians held to as a ray of hope for the commencement of a better social, economic and political situation, but this mandate was overwhelmed by a consistent manipulation of the constitutional and electoral laws. The lackluster operation of BVAS was contrary to what was promised by the electoral body and in states like Lagos and Rivers, there was massive disenfranchisement.

Labour Party presidential candidate Mr. Peter Obi, has however weighed in on the alleged mass manipulation and voters suppression witnessed across the country during the presidential and National Assembly election which took place on February 28th. According to him, manipulating the rule of law and suppressing the will of the people are significant tools for the destruction of every society. He made this known in a shared newsletter shared on the eve of the Governorship and State National Assembly election which was rescheduled to March 18. In this letter, he noted that citizens across the country voted for a new Nigeria through the Labour Party. Appreciating every citizen for believing in him, he noted that the journey for a new Nigeria had commenced.

INEC’s lackadaisical approach would only exacerbate the present situation.

He further explained that this cause was jeered by a unified reason of making Nigeria work, rather than any religion, tribe, sentiments or class which divided us. He added that this cause was built majorly on the basis of honest belief and desire for a new Nigeria where freedom and potentials would be greatly supported to ensure the development of a sustainable and progressive society. He overtly noted that the lackadaisical approach of the Independent National Electoral Commission, even in the presence of extreme poverty, insecurity, a failing health and educational system, corruption and the economic downturn, were more alarming.

Peter Obi averred that this would only exacerbate the present situation, the people’s frustration and the country’s already deteriorating status quo. He thus urged the electoral body to obey the court orders and give access to the Labour Party’s legal and technical team for inspection of the required materials. He stated that INEC must not obstruct the process of justice and further explained that history has shown how societies are gradually destroyed as a result of the purposeful manipulation of the rule of law and suppression of the people’s will. He however noted that rather than a dampened spirit, everyone must be inspired by the passion and patriotic will of Nigerians to ensure a change in the current status quo.

Demands of the youths loud and clear to Nigeria and the global community.

Nigerian youths were praised for their bravery at daring to challenge the present situation, regardless of all the obstacles faced in the process of performing their civic duty. This, Obi said, was loud and clear to Nigeria and the global community. He referenced a certain Yusuf Alabi who stood in front of a moving car during his campaign, explaining that the undaunted passion of the youths to witnessing a better Nigeria is where he draws his inspiration. Obi noted that this defiled the criticisms from other political parties about not having a structure, indicating that the unifying purpose, courage, love and resilience were his structure.

Continuing on, he appealed to the masses to not waver but use the same burning aspiration displayed during the presidential election to come out and cast their votes for the gubernatorial and state national assembly elections. He claimed that irrespective of the result announced by INEC, he was assured that Nigerians came out to vote with hopes for a new Nigeria. This spirit, he said, was what led the emergence of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister of United Kingdom; Sadiq Khan as the Mayor of London and the likes of Barrack Obama as the president of the United States of America.

The coordinated attacks on traders in southeast and southwest condemned.

In this letter, he also condemned the coordinated attacks on innocent traders particularly in the South East and parts of the South West, especially Lagos, as a result of their political pursuit. He noted that with every possibility of advancement, forces of retrogression in Nigeria have been continually attacked with violence, division and prejudice. Peter Obi noted that everyone must be United in condemning these perpetrations of tribal prejudices and violence. He also urged the security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators face the consequences in accordance with the law.

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