The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 28th, Presidential and National Assembly Elections, Mr Peter Obi, has said the manipulation of the rule of law and the suppression of the will of the people are potent tools used to destroy societies.
He said this in a letter to Nigerians on the eve of the rescheduled Governorship and State Assembly Elections, slated to hold on Saturday.
In the letter titled: “A new Nigeria is again possible on the 18th of March,” Obi implored Nigerians not to allow the misconduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission during the February 25th Presidential Elections, deter them from returning to the polling booth to vote in the Governorship and State Assembly election come Saturday.
Obi’s letter read in part, “On 25th of February 2023, millions of Nigerians from all walks of life, across generations and backgrounds, from Borno to Lagos, Port Harcourt to Sokoto, Kano to Enugu, Taraba to Ondo voted strongly and resolutely to take back their country.
“They voted for Labour Party; they voted for a New Nigeria! I most sincerely continue to thank all Nigerians for their genuine belief and commitment that a New Nigeria is possible through us. And indeed, it is possible and has started!
“During the campaigns, we travelled across this our most blessed and beautiful country Nigeria. We interacted, listened and learnt from you and was most humbled by the millions of young Nigerians who passionately invested their resources, time and life to our call and demand for a Nigeria that works for all.
“We met very genuine and patriotic Nigerians who eagerly volunteered and gave whatever they can for a New Nigeria. Their genuine and emotional commitments were not based on religion, tribe, gender, class or any of the sentiments that divide us.
“ It was based on the honest desire and belief for a New Nigeria where the freedoms and potentials of our greatly endowed country and her youths will be supported to create an inclusive, sustainable, growing and progressive Nation.
“With increasing poverty, insecurity, corruption, unemployment, failing educational and health systems, the general state of our dear country and economy are troubling. What INEC did with the WILL OF NIGERIANS on the 25th of February is even far more troubling.
“It will only serve to exacerbate our sad situation, frustration of the people and the deterioration of the country. As we are directed to go to court, we call on INEC to provide all the required materials and access to our legal and technical teams to do their job.
“INEC should not be a hindrance to the efforts to get justice for a New Nigeria!
History has taught us that the destruction of a society can be gradual or sudden through deliberate manipulation of the rule of law and suppression of the will of the people.
“However, rather than dampen our spirit, we are doubly inspired by the creativity, passion, patriotism, and relentless optimism of Nigerians, particularly our youths on the need and urgency of a New Nigeria. It is a demand that time has come.
“While we are all aware and can see the deliberate and unpatriotic efforts to stop our march to freedom, please be assured that while we can be delayed, a New Nigeria Will Never be Denied!”
The letter further read, “I particularly salute young Nigerians who braved the challenges, withstood all kinds of difficulties and other contrived obstacles to cast their votes and make their voices heard.
“ It was very loud and clear to Nigeria and the Global Community! Through your dynamism, creativity, optimism and passion for a New Nigeria, we derive our inspiration.
“For instance, undaunted amidst all odds, Yusuf Alabi stood in front of my moving car with his two hands fully stretched! I was tired that day but in him, I was re-energized.
“As he gazed at me, I saw hope, determination, love and passion. My belief in the need and urgency of a New Nigeria was strengthened. Please note that he didn’t stand so radically and boldly because I am his uncle, an Ibo Man or a Christian!
“ He stood because in us, he is convinced and believes that a New Nigeria that will better his life is Indeed Possible! His desire which represents the appeal and prayer of the majority of Nigerians must be achieved and sustained.
“He like many other Nigerians defied all odds and demonstrated to those that said we had no structure, that our unity of purpose, courage, love, commitment and resilience are the ingredients for the most powerful structure in our country.
“I am especially gratified by the fact that many of you were voting for the first time, and you have demonstrated without question your capacity to shape your country and its destiny.
“I salute your courage, resilience and resolve. All of us including many local and international observers lamented the poor conduct of the Presidential Election on the 25th of February.
“It is very obvious that it was deliberately conducted in gross deviation of the agreed rules and regulations. Expectedly, the results were most condemn-ably manipulated to suppress and subvert the will of the people.
“It is being generous to say that the elections fell far short of minimum acceptable standards of procedural integrity and democratic practice.
“Let me reiterate that our team is taking up all these issues through all available legal and peaceful channels and I continue to urge all of you to remain peaceful and law-abiding.
“Despite these setbacks, we are undaunted and remain resolutely committed to the fight for a New Nigeria as it is an idea whose time has come. Datti Baba-Ahmed and I, therefore, implore you, my dear brothers and sisters, that to birth a New Nigeria is possible.”