Senator Chimaroke Nnamani representing Enugu East senatorial zone in the National Assembly has been verbally attacked and criticized for asking Mr Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, to withdraw his petition against Nigeria’s president-elect, Mr Bola Tinubu, of the All Progressives Congress.
Nnamani, a former governor of Enugu State, in a statement weekend, demanded Mr Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, to call his supporters to align with Tinubu’s incoming government, adding that Obi lacked the national spread to win the 2023 presidential election.
Quoting him, “His (Obi’s) petition is ego driven, joke carried too far. His attempt to highlight on nonelectoral issues is trying to embarrass the president-elect. Obi needs to come down from his high horse to allow sedate minds to negotiate on behalf of the Igbo and South East for safe landing to include our stake in the national share of the accruals of the commonwealth. We must join the main stream and participate in the making of a new Nigeria. Igbo has to confront reality now or be consigned to the backwoods of history. Time to align is now.”
Residents of Enugu who spoke to journalists were critical of the pro-Tinubu senator.
The head of Department of English, Coal City University, Enugu, Dr Desna Ajah, described the position of Nnamani as anti-democracy. He said, “Obi claims he won the election. He should be allowed to use the only means available for him, which is the judiciary, to prove his claims. Asking him to withdraw his case will be a setback to our democracy. It might simply mean that anybody could win elections at whatever means and ask his opponents to go to court, after which the complainant will be asked to negotiate and withdraw his case.”
A sociologist, Kelvin Eze, said the statement of Nnamani ‘is a pointer that some characters do not want quality leadership in Nigeria’. He said, “Senator Nnamani is afraid of contents of Obi’s petition against Tinubu, which pertain to alleged criminal records, forgery, and citizenship. Again, is Nnamani saying that transmission of results should be done without regards to the electronic transmission, and the boldness of asking the cheated to go to court?
“Obi should fight his alleged injustice to the latter. He enjoyed the support of many Nigerians and he will lose his respect if he withdraws his case under any guise. Even if he loses in court, people would like to know how results could be brazenly declared against the rules established by the same INEC.”
Mrs Monica Ogbonna, a retired teacher, advised Obi to sustain his case against Tinubu. She said, “Beyond this 2023, Obi should project his plans towards 2027. He should look for ways of entrenching LP in all states of the federation. It was said the he didn’t have structure, but we all have seen what has played out. His structure is the oppressed Nigerians. Even with intimidation and vote buying, he garnered over six millions votes. Tinubu held unto his Alliance for Democracy, and today transformed it into a national party. Igbo politicians will always work against Obi, but he has made history. Because of Obi, our big politicians, including sitting governors, lost elections. Chimaroke also lost his senatorial seat to a green horn.”
Praise Onyia, a pastor, said, “Let’s focus more on the objectivity of the Nigerian judiciary. INEC killed our democracy. We are left with how we can restore our national pride via courts. Chimaroke should help Tinubu in defending all cases against him before the court, and not asking Obi to withdraw. It is like beating a child and asking him not to cry.”