The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of incompetence and dereliction of duty in the conduct of the 2023 elections.
Speaking on Monday during a press conference to address the position of the Supreme Court on the 2023 elections, Obi said the electoral body showed how national institutions have negatively affected the country’s democracy.
The LP flagbearer added that the judiciary has largely acted in defiance of constitutional tenets, precedents, and established ground rules.
He said: “We have long been aware of how weak national institutions have negatively affected our democracy. This year 2023 has been quite remarkable and revealing.
“INEC has displayed incompetence in the conduct of its statutory duty. The judiciary has largely acted in defiance of constitutional tenets, precedents, and established ground rules. Political expediency has preceded judicial responsibility.
“A mechanical application of technicalities has superseded the pursuit of justice and fairness. Both INEC and the Supreme Court as the referees, respectively shifted the goalposts in the middle of the game.”
Obi said he is committed to a new Nigeria, where things work, where the country is led from its present waste and consumption orientation to a production-driven economy.
He stated: “Where the value and import of the recent Supreme Court ruling ends is where our commitment to a New Nigeria begins. Our mission and mandate remain unchanged.
“From the very onset, our mission has been more about enthroning a new Nigeria. It is a new nation where things work, where the country is led from its present waste and consumption orientation to a production-driven economy.
“Our commitment is to a nation anchored on the principles of prudent management of resources to quickly pull millions out of multidimensional poverty, ensuring transparency and accountability in the equitable distribution of opportunities, resources, and privileges.
“In the new Nigeria, we aim to address all unmet needs by showing compassion for all those left behind by the present system.”
The former Anambra governor noted that the Labour Party and the Obidient Movement are now effectively in the opposition to put the Bola Tinubu government on the right track.
Obi asserted that given the present national circumstances, there is a compelling need for a strong political opposition and the Labour Party is ready to take the lead.
He added: “Going forward, we in the Labour Party and the Obidient Movement are now effectively in opposition. We are glad that the nation has heard us loud and clear. We shall now expand the confines of our message of hope to the rest of the country. We shall meet the people in the places where they feel pain and answer their needs for hope.
“At marketplaces, motor parks, town halls, board rooms, and university and college campuses, we all carry and deliver the message of a new Nigeria. As stake holders and elected Labour Party officials, we shall remain loyal to our manifesto. We will continue to canvas for good governance and focus on issues that promote national interest, unity, and cohesion.
“We will continue to give primacy to our Constitution, the rule of law, and the protection of ordered liberties. We will offer the checks and balances required in a functional democracy and vie robustly in forthcoming elections to elect those who share our vision of a new Nigeria.
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“Given our present national circumstances, there is a compelling need for a strong political opposition. We shall, therefore, remain in opposition, especially because of the policies and the governance modalities that we in the Labour Party campaigned for, especially reducing the cost of governance, moving the nation from consumption to production, reducing inflation, ending insecurity, promoting the rule of law, guaranteeing the responsibility to protect, and stabilizing the Nigerian currency; are clearly not the priorities of the present administration nor is it interested in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
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