Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the Labour Party on Saturday congratulated President Bola Tinubu on his recent victory at the Supreme Court.
But the LP faction, while urging Tinubu to be magnanimous in victory, mocked its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for filing a petition which it said did not take the justices more than 120 minutes to dismiss.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeals filed by Obi and his Peoples Democratic Party counterpart, Atiku Abubakar against Tinubu’s election.
Spokesman for the LP faction, Abayomi Arabambi, while reacting to the development in a statement in Abuja, said Tinubu’s victory was well deserved.
According to the statement, “The victory has now settled all the controversies that arose from the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections. We hope that the President will be magnanimous in victory by inviting the Labour Party leadership as a partner in the progress of his all-inclusive government of national unity.
“While we in the LP appeal to the losers, especially the PDP presidential candidate, to toe the path of patriotism as a democrat, we urge the winner to be more magnanimous in victory since the government is for us all.
“The independence of the judiciary was further confirmed in the judgment when the Supreme Court said there was no evidence to prove President Tinubu’s forged certificate was presented before the court. Now that judgment has been pronounced, our immediate mission as one people must now shift to issues that affect us as a nation.”
The Apapa faction also commended Atiku for putting up a strong case despite his loss at the court.
He added, “The former vice president remains a veteran and not a failure. He gave it all but destiny at times speaks.
“Labour party therefore congratulates him. His name shall remain relevant in Nigeria whether his opponent likes it or not. The beauty of democracy is that election divides all democratic citizens, the democrats and the entire populace into losers and winners.”
Arabambi however dragged Obi, alleging that he was arguably one of the worst candidates the party had ever fielded.
He said, “It is on record that all the meaningless grounds of appeal were dismissed under 120 seconds (two minutes) by the justices of the Supreme Court. The loss of Peter Obi signified the vindication of LP’s stance under Lamidi Apapa about his stewardship as the party’s presidential candidate.
“We also congratulate the justices of the Supreme Court for taking their precious time to thoroughly lay to rest all negative aspersions with the best judgment so far in the history of Presidential Election petition. They were able to prove that Obi in the petition abandoned the duty to prove substantial non-compliance and relied solely on the failure to electronically transmit results directly from the polling unit.”
When contacted for a reaction, the spokesman for the Obi-Datti Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, told our reporter that the members of the Apapa faction had a right to congratulate and support whoever they wanted.
“We can’t stop them. They have a right to congratulate the President or whoever they deem fit,” he says.
The National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, also declined to give recognition to the group, which he said was full of renegades.
“I have told you before that we don’t recognise them and we won’t like to be responding to them. Any party can have a splinter, we don’t want to patronise anybody,” he stated.