Peter Obi (file photo of Obi addressing supporters in Katsina during the electioneering)
.Tasks the judiciary on independence, integrity
‘As we await the verdict of the election tribunal, I urge all Nigerians to use this opportunity to renew their commitment to the Nigerian ideal and ensure that such ideal remains noble and worth every sacrifice we can make’
By Valentine Amanze
The perceived winner of the February 25, 2023 presidential election, Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), has joined other Nigerians in lamenting and rejecting the shameful state of the nation despite marking the May 29, 2023 Democracy Day.
He also expressed optimism that Nigeria would be great again.
In a statement on Monday titled, “At a time like this: My message to fellow Nigerians,” Obi, who is fighting to reclaim his mandate via the judiciary, acknowleged that the nation was in a difficult period.
His words: “This is a time for deep reflection. And also a time to re-examine our assumptions, even as we reaffirm our hopes, review our aspirations, recalibrate our expectations, and pin down the causes of our missed opportunities and disappointment.
“We must collectively come to grips with the reality of our injured destiny as well as the reasons for that injury. It is for us to reassess our plight as a young democracy and identify clear pathways to a better and greater future for us all.”
Obi also lamented that the conduct and outcome of the last national elections showcased “the troubled state of Nigeria’s democracy where a minority, indeed a handful of partisans, seem satisfied with the conduct of the election and the results, while the majority of voters and many international observers remain confounded by the process and the outcome.”
Besides, he reiterated that though serious reservations had been expressed by a significant majority of stakeholders about the shortcomings of the elections, it was not for anyone to take the laws into his hands.
“As we await the verdict of the election tribunal, I urge all Nigerians to use this opportunity to renew their commitment to the Nigerian ideal and ensure that such ideal remains noble and worth every sacrifice we can make.
“Nigeria remains our only patrimony and it is a patrimony we must protect, rather than violate. We have no other nation but this, so let us remain committed to rescuing and rebuilding it.”
On the judiciary, the Anambra State former governor said that the judiciary was part of the democratic enterprise and a critical governance tool for determining the propriety of the decisions and actions of every citizen and every institution of the state.
He however enjoined the people to treat it with the respect and dignity it deserves.
“We expect that the Nigerian judiciary will use the election cases now before it to reaffirm its independence and integrity. It has to do so, for all our sakes and for itself. Nigerians must, therefore, remain peaceful and law-abiding. No matter the depth of anyone’s reservations about what is going on in the polity today, no matter the real and imagined provocations, and no matter the disagreement out there, we should remember that this will not last forever.
“Like the majority of Nigerians, I reject the present shameful condition of our country. I reject the widespread criminal plundering of our nation’s wealth by those who are called to manage it and serve the people. I also reject, without reservations, the growing impression that our nation is one in which the most important requirements for 21st-century nationhood can be routinely violated with impunity.”
Obi also thanked members of his party and the media for their support and noted that the media as the Fourth Estate of the realm, has remained a trusted ally as he urged them to continue to guide the people on the immense promise of a future in a new Nigeria.