The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, on Thursday, accused the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi; and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, of “riling up” their supporters.
In a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Keyamo said he had petitioned the Department of State Services (DSS) to invite the LP leaders over their rejection of the declaration of Bola Tinubu as the President-elect.
Though the official figures indicate LP placed third, Obi claims he was rigged out of victory, pointing to the widespread violence, voter intimidation and suppression before, during and after the elections.
In the wake of Tinubu’s win, members of his camp urged the aggrieved parties to approach the courts. However, the early calls to seek legal redress have been met with suspicion from Obi’s supporters.
“If I don’t say, ‘Go to court,’ what will I say?” Keyamo retorted. “Will I say, ‘Come’ let’s fight?’ What it means – if I don’t actually use that sentence – is ‘avail yourself of the machinery for addressing your grievance as provided by law.
“I’m only saying it in specific terms: ‘Go to court.’ If I don’t say, ‘Go to court,’ the next thing I will say is ‘Come, let’s fight.’ So, why are they using such phrases or such sentences in a derogatory manner?”
He argued that legal redress was provided for by law, adding that some people had successfully retrieved their mandates by going to court.
“It is only when it does not favour you – and that is what the Labour Party is doing now, and that is why I had to petition them to the DSS,” the minister said.
“There’s a buildup to something that they’re doing. The buildup they are doing is to rile the people up, pump them up, and then turn them against the judiciary.”