The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, said Thursday that he believes his former ally turned opponent, Peter Obi, could not have won Saturday’s presidential election.
Atiku said Mr Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party, could not have gotten the constitutionally required spread needed to be declared president.
Apart from winning majority votes, a candidate is also expected to get 25 per cent of votes in at least 24 states to be declared the winner of the presidential election.
In his speech, Atiku acknowledged that Mr Obi’s candidacy denied PDP votes from its traditional strongholds in the South-east and South-south regions but said victory in those regions cannot be sufficient for Mr Obi to be declared president.
Atiku spoke in Abuja at a press conference where he reiterated his party’s position to reject the results of the presidential election.
“Yes, agreed that he took our votes from the South-east and the South-south and that of course would not make him a president. You all know that to win presidential election in Nigeria, you need votes from everywhere,” he said.
Requirements to become president
Section 134 of the constitution stipulates the requirements a candidate must meet to be declared the winner of a presidential election.
The section states that: “(1) A candidate for an election to the office of the President shall be deemed to have been duly elected, where, there being only two candidates for the election
“(a) he has the majority of votes cast at the election; and
“(b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”
Atiku failed to get the 25 per cent as required by the constitution, as he got the 25 per cent spread in 21 states while Mr Obi scored a minimum of 25 per cent in 17 states.
Only Mr Tinubu met the requirement as he got the threshold in 30 states.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Atiku came second in the election behind APC’s Bola Tinubu who emerged as the winner. Mr Obi came third in the election.
Mr Tinubu won the poll with 8,794,726 votes while Atiku came second with 6,984,520 and Peter Obi of Labour Party third with 6,101,533 votes. The three candidates won 12 states each.
Obi was in a rush — Atiku
While responding to a question from a journalist, Atiku said the LP candidate left the PDP before the primaries because he was scared of the PDP governors, who had resolved that a candidate must emerge from their ranks.
He noted that the defection of the former Anambra State governor from the PDP ruled him out from being a possible running mate.
Atiku also disclosed that Mr Obi was in a rush to get out of the PDP, while he stayed to fight with the PDP governors and prevailed at the primary election.
“I think Peter was in a rush. Do you know why I said he was in a rush? Because when the campaign started, and our PDP governors sat down that they must produce the president among them, they must produce the vice president among them, and they must produce the chief of staff amongst them, Peter got scared and left.
“I did not get scared, I stood up against the governors. When we formed the PDP, some of them were perhaps in secondary school or universities, so why should I be afraid? I stood up and I fought them and I won the primary. If he was there, nothing could have stopped him from becoming a running mate because I had the right to chose whomever I wanted as my running mate.
“The question of whether I would work with Peter or not, whether Peter wounded the PDP—yes to some extent he did because all the votes he carried were PDP votes in the South-east and South-south. So that is true. That is politics. Whether he will achieve his objective by that or not, that is left to God to decide,” he said.
Mr Obi was Atiku’s running mate in the 2019 presidential election. He joined the LP on 27 May 2022, and was given the presidential ticket of the party.
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