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October 18, 2023

Presidency: Babachir, APC disagree over winner of 2023 poll

Presidency: Babachir, APC disagree over winner of 2023 poll

•Obi won 2023 not Tinubu —Babachir Lawal
•Says Tinubu came third, Atiku second
•Babachir’s a failed politician, angry because Tinubu rejected him as VP —APC

By Clifford Ndujihe & Omeiza Ajayi

FORMER Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal, and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, disagreed over who won the 2023 presidential poll.

While Lawal claimed that the Labour Party, LP, Candidate, Mr Peter Obi, won the February 25 presidential poll and not Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the APC disagreed, insisting that Tinubu won, adding that Lawal was angry because Tinubu did not pick him as his running mate.

Lawal, a former close ally of Tinubu, stated that available factual data as aggregated from several independent sources indicated that Obi got the majority votes while Atiku came second and Tinubu came third in the election.

Tinubu knew he won’t win

In the strongly worded statement, Lawal said: “I have resisted the temptation to engage in the contemporary political discourse since the May 2023 election faux pas.

“I did this for two reasons; the first being that as an active player in the drama, I needed time to analyze and digest the data that led to the outcome(s) so I could arrive at an informed decision; the second, being that the rainy season had just set in and it was necessary that I focused my attention on my farms which are the mainstay of my livelihood.

“The current topical issues for political discourse and inquiry are whether or not Bola Tinubu won the presidential election and/or that he was apriori, qualified to participate in the election given his murky biodata as is now being publicly unveiled daily in an avalanche.

“My answer to the first inquiry is that regardless of whatever INEC or Appeal Court said or did, Bola did not win the election. “Right from the start of the campaigns, Bola knew he was not going to win the election in a free and fair contest so he decided to go by all means.

“Available factual data as aggregated from several independent sources indicate that Obi got the majority votes while Atiku came second. Bola came a distant third in the number of votes scored.

“My answer to the second inquiry is that given the now unfolding deluge of uncomplimentary information about who or what he actually is, ordinarily, sound ethics and morality should have convinced him to voluntarily excuse himself from participation in the election.

Why Tinubu should resign

But this, notwithstanding, I believe he still has time and opportunity to save himself this public humiliation and embarrassment to his person, both locally and internationally by resigning so that he can give more attention to his health. “After all, no one knows about the truism of these severely embarrassing and humiliating exposures about his person than the man himself.

“Leadership is all about integrity; sound pedigree, trustworthiness and the ability to unite and instil hope and confidence in the people one seeks to lead. In these qualities, most Nigerians are in total agreement that Bola has them in very very short supply indeed.

“But now, six months down the line, the chicken has come home to roost as Nigerians have come to the realization that we have not got what we deserve politically.

“Confusion and despondency are now all over the nation as no one trusts the government to do what it says it will do. No one trusts the leader, and no one trusts appointees who are appointed as rewards for their roles in the election or who had in the past helped him in his life.

“Bola the President and his group are now in government and are in full control of Nigeria’s vast resources and opportunities. They are enjoying their offices while Nigerians languish in insecurity, poverty and hopelessness.

“During the campaign, Bola mouthed some platitudes about competence; but we are so far yet to see it reflected in his political appointments. It seems more like he is rewarding people who supported him to get the Presidency at all costs. “This band of appointees that Bola is assembling into his government don’t care about Nigeria at all.

“Fuel prices will continue to gallop upwards until only they can afford it; the Naira will continue to race downhill in a free-fall until only they can afford anything in the market; insecurity will continue its escalation until every community in the nation is consumed by it.

“Just to mention a few of these appointees: take insecurity for example, what do you expect an accountant to do as Minister of Defense?

“Was he not that one who was governor while Bello Turji et al freely terrorized Zamfara State? What about his CBN Governor with a CV; a one-time Chairman of a little-known bank employing 300 people in less than 12 branches clustered in the South-South and South East regions?

“Is there any doubt left as to his lack of qualification and experience for the job than that his first policy statement was to remove foreign exchange restrictions for the importation of 43 agricultural and related products?

“Certainly, Nigerians are in for a short thrift. The people running the government do not care a hoot about the Nigerian people; their cronies are the petroleum industry players while some are the banking system players so a free fall of the Naira and an unregulated upward movement of oil prices both work for more profits for them.

“By the way, has anyone noticed the intolerance for free speech and dictatorship that is creeping upon us? Has anyone noticed the actions of the National Broadcasting Commission of late?”

Babachir angry because Tinubu rejected him as running mate —APC

Responding, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Felix in a statement, said as a legendary failure, Lawal is still angry over his rejection by President Tinubu when the former aspired to be his running mate.

The statement read in part: “Babachir Lawal, emerged from his hibernation slinging incoherent aspersions on the person of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the exalted office he occupies.

“After a long hiatus leaking his wounds from the monumental electoral loss of his candidate in the last presidential election, Mr. Lawal unabashedly is out again, peddling gibberish, rather than learn from his political misadventure with equanimity.

“Clearly, the defeat of his principal, Peter Obi, at the poll has done incalculable damage to Mr. Lawal’s psyche and his capacity for rational thought as evident in his analysis based entirely on the figment of his warped imagination rather than on hard facts and figures. A clear sign of his disconnect from reality was his reference to the election held in May 2023, rather than February.

Challenges Lawal to release a breakdown of his facts

“We challenge Babachir Lawal to give a detailed breakdown of his so-called ‘aggregated facts sourced from independent sources’, which he claimed proved that Obi won the election or forever keep mute. That he did not provide these facts to help Obi prove his case before the Presidential Elections Petitions Court is a massive disservice if not a betrayal of his political principles.

“Babachir Lawal ought to have known that running a jaundiced commentary on a matter before the Supreme Court is the height of irresponsibility. But he is still nursing bitterness and vindictiveness over his failed dream of running on a joint ticket with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“Indeed, Babachir Lawal is in dire need of professional counselling and deserves our collective pity. It is obvious he may never get over the pain of being tossed into the dustbin of political ignominy by President Bola Tinubu who, against all odds, defeated Mr Peter Obi who exploited our religious and ethnic fault lines in his campaign for the nation’s highest office.

“Thankfully, Nigerians across all ethnic and religious divides saw through Babachir Lawal’s and Peter Obi’s shenanigans and voted for the best candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“Furthermore, it is very uncharitable for Mr. Babachir Lawal to call to question the professional competence of President Tinubu’s appointees, some of whom he cannot hold a candle to their political and professional accomplishments.

“Babachir Lawal is one lightweight politician who thinks himself a heavyweight. He failed spectacularly as a politician in his State of Adamawa where in three election circles he could not deliver his ward and local government in his Hong Local Government.

“Despite his legendary failure as a politician, former President Muhammadu Buhari in deference to diversity appointed him to the high office of SGF where he was unceremoniously sacked on account of very poor performance and dishonourable conduct. A man like Babachir Lawal is in no position to offer an opinion on the competence of President Tinubu’s appointees.

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