The leader of Nigeria’s opposition Labour Party, Peter Obi, expressed his criticism on Monday regarding the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, which upheld President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February elections. Obi also pledged to persist in his fight for a “New Nigeria.”
The Supreme Court’s decision on October 26 dismissed the attempt to overturn the election result, effectively shutting the door on legal challenges against Tinubu’s victory. Despite allegations of election irregularities and claims of technical glitches, the court’s judgement followed a pattern seen in previous presidential elections where legal challenges have failed.
Addressing reporters for the first time since the ruling, Obi, a former two-term governor who ran as an outsider, expressed his disappointment with the judgement. He asserted that it contradicted the substantial evidence of election manipulation and other irregularities. Obi described the ruling as a “total breach of the confidence the Nigerian people have in our judiciary” and a “show of unreasonable force against the very Nigerian people from whom the power of the Constitution derives.”
Despite the setback, Obi remained committed to the opposition’s cause, vowing to continue fighting for a “New Nigeria.” He emphasised his dedication to good governance, steering the country away from what he termed its current focus on waste and consumption towards a production-driven economy.
Obi stated, “We will offer the checks and balances required in a functional democracy and vie robustly in forthcoming elections to elect those who share our vision of a new Nigeria.”
Obi’s supporters, known as the “Obidients,” have been vocal in their criticism of the Supreme Court ruling. They have accused the court of bias and of protecting the interests of the ruling party. Obi’s rejection of the Supreme Court’s decision is expected to resonate with his predominantly young Nigerian supporters, who were drawn to his message of hope and change and saw him as a departure from the traditional political establishment.