Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi said Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed was trying to demarket him.
He said: “I am on record, as always, advocating peace and issue-based campaign, not a campaign based on ethnicity or religion. I am committed to due process and presently seeking redress in court.
“I urge those engaged in this demarketing process to stop presenting Nigeria in a such bad light. Our future generations deserve a new Nigeria where they can live a secure and decent life, like their counterparts in other climes. and this is possible.”
Obi, who reacted to Mohammed’ allegation of treason and incitement, in a statement, said he was saddened by the minister’s remarks.
The statement was sent to The Nation by his media aide, Valentine Obieyen.
The presidential candidate said he had taken the legal route towards the recovery of his “mandate,” adding that he was unperturbed by the minister’s allegation.
Obi said: “Any person ‘seeing’ treason in a clear legal process should explain to Nigerians how opting for the tribunal by myself and my Deputy amounts to treason.”
He added: “In the past few days, I have observed various campaigns of calumny directed at my person, the latest being allegations attributed to the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, in Washington DC.
“It is most unfortunate that these consistent efforts to portray me in a manner, quite contrary to what I am and my core values, are coming from such high quarters. Minister Lai accusing me of stoking the fire of insurrection is totally fictitious and malicious. I have never advocated or encouraged anyone to undermine the Nigerian state; I’ve never sponsored or preached any action against the Nigerian state.”
Urging highly placed Nigerians to avoid reckless statements, Obi said he was surprised that the minister was travelling round the world to tell the story of the recent Nigerian election.
He said the move was laughable because most of the countries sent their people to monitor the election and have received reports from the monitors, as well as from their embassies.
Obi queried: “Between Lai Mohammed and their monitors/embassies, who would these countries believe?”
He further said that such reckless behaviour, sponsored with tax payers money, was among the reasons those countries often do not take Nigeria seriously.
The LP candidate added:“The billions spent on those meaningless trips would be enough to fix several dilapidated schools in the country,“ Obi said.
Urging Nigerians to always remain law-abiding and hopeful for a new Nigeria, Obi said he was only fighting for due process.