By Victoria Frances
THE All Progressives Congress, APC, and Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation are at daggers drawn over who won the presidential election of February 25, 2023. Lawal, a chieftain of the APC during the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, surprised Nigerians when he issued a statement on Tuesday, October 17, stating that Peter Obi, presidential candidate of Labour Party, LP, and not Tinubu won the election.
The All Progressives Congress tackled Lawal in a statement on Wednesday, October 18, describing him “as peddling gibberish, rather than learn from his political misadventure with equanimity.”
Realnews reports that in the contentious result of presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Tinubu the winner. Obi has taken case to the Supreme Court which will hear the case in November after the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal insisted Tinubu is the winner.
Notwithstanding, Lawal insisted that data from independent sources indicated that Obi had majority votes while Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, came second in the election while Tinubu came a distant third in the number of votes scored.
Stating that he has resisted the temptation to engage in the contemporary political discourse since the May 2023 election faux pas, Lawal cited two reasons for his decision: “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 I needed to focus my attention on my farms which are the mainstay of my livelihood.”
According to him, the current topical issues for political discourse and inquiry are whether or not 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.
He said: “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.”
Urging Tinubu to resign to prevent public humiliation and embarrassment, Lawal said: “My answer to the second inquiry is that given the now unfolding deluge of uncomplimentary information about who or what he is, ordinarily, sound ethics and morality should have convinced him to voluntarily excuse himself from participation in the election. 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 instill 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.”
Among other things, Lawal observed that Tinubu had yet to appoint any competent person into office, adding: “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.”
He noted that “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 cost. 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”.
Reacting, Felix Morka, national publicity secretary of the APC, on Wednesday, October 18, in a statement said that 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.
The statement entitled: “Babachir Lawal is a Burden Unto Himself and in Need of Counselling“ reads: “After a long hiatus licking 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 election held in May 2023, rather than February.
“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 betrayal of his political principal.
“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 counseling 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 that 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.
“We are convinced that these appointees would justify the confidence reposed in them by the President by delivering on the promises of the Renewed Hope Agenda of this administration.
“And while they are at it, we would admonish Babachir Lawal to concentrate on managing his farm and stop constituting himself into a needless distraction unbefitting of his age and status.”
Aug. 18, 2023 @ 20:15 GMTTags: APC Babachir Lawal INEC LP President Bola Ahmed Tinubu