The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, said the judiciary was right when the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) reclaimed his mandate as governor of Anambra State in 2007 but the judiciary was wrong when he lost at the presidential Tribunal on Wednesday.
Wike, a Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, spoke exclusively when he featured on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Thursday.
“Did Peter Obi not win at the Supreme Court when he was removed as governor? Did he pay bribe? Let him tell the world now,” Wike said.
“When he was removed as a governor, did he not reclaim his mandate at the Supreme Court? Judiciary was right but now that the decision happened, judiciary is wrong.”
The Presidential Election Petitions Court had delivered a 12-hour marathon judgment on Wednesday, throwing out the petitions of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM); the petitions of the PDP and its flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar; as well as the petitions of LP and Obi.
The five-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani not only dismissed the consolidated petitions of the PDP, the APM, and the LP, but it also clearly affirmed the victory of Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, in the presidential poll.
Both Atiku and Obi have rejected the Tribunal’s verdict and vowed to seek redress at the Supreme Court.
Speaking on Channels Television’s programme on Thursday, Wike said he is a realist and he knew Obi won’t win the February 25, 2023 poll.
“I know that he won’t win the election. Let me tell you the truth, I am a realist,” the FCT minister said, explaining that he supported Tinubu rather than Obi or Atiku, who happened to be in the same party as himself (Wike).
“For me, the way the election went, it was a tough election. I give it to INEC (the Independent National Electoral Commission),” he said.
Wike said sentiments aside, Obi couldn’t have won the election. “Yes, as a young man, people would have preferred that but look at how the votes went,” he said.
“There is this generational change, the young people were tired. So, for them, the only hope they had was to vote for Obi as a younger person compared to other candidates.
“But unknown to them, that is not the reality of Nigerian politics. They didn’t take into cognisance that ethnicity is a factor. They didn’t take into cognisance that religion is a factor, not only competence; that is the reality of Nigerian politics,” the ex-governor of Rivers State said.