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Peter Obi was unknown and unpopular in 22 states, wrongly adjudged frontrunner — Lai Mohammed


The federal government has said that Peter Obi, a former Anambra State governor and the flag bearer of the Labour Party considered a frontrunner in the February 25 presidential election, is unknown and unpopular in 22 states of Nigeria.

Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed said, “For instance, not only that the candidate must have the plurality of votes, he must also have one-quarter of the total vote cast in at least 25 states of the federation.”

“When you look at the results, only the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress and the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, met these requirements.”

The minister added, “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, came short of these because he came second and had 25 per cent in 21 states. Obi came far behind with 25 per cent in 15 states. This means that Obi, who was wrongly adjudged as a frontrunner in the election, was virtually unknown and unpopular in 22 states.”

Mr Mohammed, on a publicity blitz overseas to prove that the presidential poll was free, fair and credible, stated this in London during his engagements with some international media organisations and think tanks, including The Economist, The Guardian and African Confidential, and Royal African Society.

“I also explained to them that many of them were ignorant of the constitutional requirements for a presidential candidate to win an election in Nigeria,” the minister noted.

During his meetings with them, the Nigerian minister said some commentators had the wrong mindset that the Labour Party and its Mr Obi would win the election, based on the hyped activities of the party and their supporters on social media, as well as the outcomes of various opinion polls which were unrepresentative of the situation in Nigeria.

“In the course of my interactions, particularly with The Economist, I referred them to an earlier article they wrote, in which they rated the Labour Party presidential candidate as the frontrunner in the polls,” Mr Mohammed explained.

“I explained to them that there was no way a presidential candidate who has no political spread and a grassroots base could win an election in Nigeria.”



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