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Peter Obi says he will ‘prove’ he won Nigerian election


Abuja, Nigeria

Nigeria’s third presidential candidate, Peter Obi, strongly rejected the results and vowed to challenge them in court, in his first public address since Saturday’s election.

Obi said he rejected the victory of Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress party, who was declared the winner with nearly 8.8 million votes, or around 36.6% of the total.

The 61-year-old candidate, who galvanized the youth vote, garnered about 6 million votes, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), second only to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party.

Obi said he should have been declared the winner. “We will explore all legal and peaceful options to reclaim our mandate. We won the elections and we will prove it to Nigerians,” Obi said during a televised press briefing from Abuja on Thursday, alleging the process was rigged.

“This election fell short of the minimum standard expected of a free, transparent, credible and fair election,” he said. “This will go down as one of the most contentious elections ever held in Nigeria. The good and hardworking people of Nigeria have been robbed by our supposed leaders whom they trusted.

bi said he hopes for a successful outcome to his promised legal challenge. “I know the courts will do the right thing. Their children’s future is at stake,” he said.

Dressed in his signature black shirt and trousers, emblazoned with the Labor Party logo, Obi was in high spirits as he answered questions at the press conference held at a hotel in Abuja.

As he left the venue, Obi was mobbed by a crowd of supporters, many chanting his name and others saying “My President”.

Obi is not new to electoral legal battles: in 2007, he was reinstated as governor of southeastern Anambra State three months after he was impeached by the state parliament.

He was re-elected by the courts on two other occasions, after the INEC declared his opponents the winners of the gubernatorial elections in which he had run.

Saturday’s election was rife with controversy, with several observers, including the European Union, saying the election fell short of expectations and “lacked transparency”.

The poll also saw low voter turnout. More than 93 million people have registered to vote, according to INEC, but only 87 million have obtained voter registration cards, a key requirement for voting. But the electoral commission said on Wednesday that only 24 million valid votes were counted, a turnout of just 26% – a figure well below the last election in 2019 when around a third of registered voters ended up casting their ballots.

The election was also marred by pockets of violence, with many Lagos voters complaining of intimidation and attempts to suppress their votes.

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