The Lamidi Apapa-led faction of Labour Party on Saturday congratulated President Bola Tinubu after his victory was affirmed by the Supreme Court.
While urging the president to be magnanimous in victory, the LP splinter group mocked its 2023 presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for filing a feeble petition that didn’t take the justices more than 120 minutes to dismiss.
Recall that, the Supreme Court had on Thursday ended the 171-day legal tussle to nullify the election of the President with the rejection of the election appeals filed by Obi and his Peoples Democratic Party counterpart, Atiku Abubakar.
In the lead judgment delivered by the Chairman of the seven-man panel, Justice Inyang Okoro, the apex court refused to consider the academic records of the President obtained from the Chicago State University, which Atiku sought to tender as fresh evidence to prove his allegation of certificate forgery against the ex-Lagos governor.
The other justices on the panel-Uwani Aji, Mohammed Garba, Ibrahim Saulawa, Adamu Jauro, Abubakar Tijjani, and Emmanuel Agim, unanimously agreed with the lead judgment dismissing Atiku and Obi’s appeals.
Reacting in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday, Spokesman of the LP faction, Abayomi Arabambi disclosed that Tinubu’s victory was well deserved, having proven his case beyond reasonable doubt.
He said, “The victory has now settled all the controversies that arose from the February 25th presidential and National Assembly Election. It is our hope that the president will be magnanimous in victory by inviting the Labour Party Leadership as a partner in progress to his all inclusive government of national unity.
“While we in the LP appeal to the losers especially the PDP presidential candidate to toe the path of patriotism as democrats, we urge the winners to be more magnanimous in victory since the government is for us all.
“The Independence of the judiciary was further confirmed in the judgment when the Supreme Court says there was no evidence to prove President Tinubu forged certificate was presented before the court. Now that judgment has been pronounced, our immediate mission as one people must now shift to issues that affect us as a nation.”
The Apapa faction also patted Atiku on the back for putting up a strong case despite his loss at the court.
While noting that the 2023 presidential election may have been the former vice president’s swansong, Arabambi stated that he remains a veteran in Nigerian politics.
“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar really gave his best interest this election. He has also tried it many times but may likely be his last chance. The former vice president remains a veteran and not a failure. He gave it all but destiny at times speaks.
“Labour party therefore congratulates him. His name shall remain relevant in Nigeria whether his opponent likes it or not. The beauty of democracy is that election divides all democratic citizens, the democrats and the entire populace into losers and winners,” he said.
The Apapa faction spokesman however dragged Obi, alleging that he was arguably one of the worst candidates the party has ever fielded.
He further hinged his claim on the manner his petition was thrown out by the Supreme Court justices for lacking merit and evidence.
“It is on record that all the meaningless grounds of appeal were dismissed under 120 seconds (two minutes) by the justices of Supreme Court. The loss of Peter Obi signifies the vindication of LP stance under Lamidi Apapa about his stewardship as the party’s presidential candidate.
“We also congratulate the justices of the Supreme Court for taking their precious time to thoroughly laid to rest all negative aspersions with the best judgment so far in the history of Presidential Election petition. They were able to prove that Obi in the petition abandoned the duty to prove substantial non-compliance and relied solely on the failure to electronically transmit results directly from the polling unit.
“Obi instead of solely facing the election tricked Nigerians into funding his campaigns with their hard-earned wealth under the guise of “We no dey give shishi.’ And Nigerians campaigned for themselves through him while believing the self-acclaimed messiah,” he said.
According to The PUNCH, the Spokesman of Obi-Datti Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, in reaction to the faction’s statement, said that the Apapa faction has a right to congratulate and support whoever they want.
He said, “We can’t stop them. They have a right to congratulate the president or whoever they deem fit.”
The National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, also declined to give recognition to the group, which he said was full of renegades.
While stating that they are still ruing their loss at the Supreme Court, Ifoh stated that they don’t want to join issues with anybody.
“I have told you before that we don’t recognize them and we won’t like to be responding to them. Any party can have a splinter, we don’t want to patronise anybody,” he stated.