The Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council has insisted that the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, won’t leave Nigeria despite pressure being mounted on him to do so.
The PCC claimed that the pressure being mounted on the former Anambra State governor from some quarters was the handiwork of mischief makers who were bent on derailing Obi from pursuing justice through the court.
The PUNCH reports that Obi had on Wednesday said he was being pressured to leave the country with attacks against his person emanating from different quarters.
Obi, in a statement on Wednesday night on his Twitter handle, also added that the leaked audio conversation between himself and the Founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo, was doctored and fake.
But in a statement on Thursday night by the Chief Spokesperson, Obi-Datti Campaign Council, Dr Tanko Yunusa, the council maintained that Obi had no intention to leave the country, irrespective of the pressure on him and his family.
The statement read, “Most unfortunately, in the past few weeks, Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate in the February 25, 2023, presidential election, has been contacted by associates, elder statesmen, family and friends with concerns for his personal safety.
“These concerns have increased intensely in the last few days as immense pressure has been mounted directly on Obi to leave the country, no doubt, from sources allied to the APC and its agents in the security services.
“Mr Obi has been repeatedly and categorically told that he has a choice to leave Nigeria or face the prospect of being arrested on false charges of inciting insurrection in the country.
“It is difficult to fathom and regrettably unfortunate that state institutions have become part of a well-calculated, deliberate and orchestrated campaign of calumny by the APC to discredit and delegitimise Mr Peter Obi and compel him to abandon his right to seek redress in court, following the outcome of the last election which was adjudged both locally and internationally to have failed to meet any standard of credibility or fairness.
“As part of the grand design, they are circulating a fake, doctored audio call. At no time throughout the campaign and now did Mr Obi ever say, think or even imply that the 2023 election is or was a religious war.
“It is very sad and wicked the attempts to manipulate Nigerians. Our legal team has been instructed to take appropriate legal actions against the media outlets that make themselves willing tools in the hands of the APC’s malicious propagandists.”
It added, “There are many more campaigns of calumny against Mr Obi planned for the near future, both before and during the court process. However, we want to make it clear to the APC party, APC led-government and its agents that Mr Obi, a widely travelled man, has no intention to leave the country at this time, irrespective of the pressure on him and his family.”
“We call on Nigerians and the international community to caution the APC and the APC led-government to stop their nasty attacks. Mr Obi’s focus and commitment to lawfully and peacefully retrieve our mandate to secure and unite our nation, take Nigeria from consumption to production, pull millions of Nigerians out of multidimensional poverty, especially in the North and jumpstart prosperity through agricultural, industrial and technological revolution remain unchanged
“He has continued to impress upon his supporters the essence of the legal process and will not now or in the future encourage any violence against the state. He has absolutely no reason for this nor desperate, especially as throughout the campaign, he called for a new Nigeria defined by opportunities for all, an end to poverty and criminality in government, especially corruption and an end to tribal and religious divisions and bigotry.
“It is for this reason that we appeal to revered religious leaders, especially in the North, not to be part of the grand design of the state apparatus to further increase the religious and ethnic divide in the country.
“Irrespective of the outcome of the court process, we have the obligation to strive for the peace and co-existence of all Nigerians. We call on President Buhari to rein in his desperate officials at all levels as their action or inaction could lead to unnecessary crises in the country.”