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Labour Minister Calls for Arrest of LP Presidential Candidate Over Election Comments



Accusations of Incendiary Claims

The Minister of Labour and Employment (State), Festus Keyamo, has written a letter to the State Security Services (SSS) calling for the arrest of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, over their comments on the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.

Mr Keyamo, who served as the spokesperson of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, in a letter dated 23 March and addressed to the director general of the SSS, accused Messrs Obi and Datti of making incendiary claims on the 25 February election capable of truncating the nation’s democracy.

Crossing the Red Line

He stated that the duo was making comments that are capable of causing insurrection against the government and the president-elect, Bola Tinubu.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on 1 March declared Mr Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the 25 February presidential election.

Mr Tinubu polled 8.8 million votes to defeat the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party, Mr Obi, who polled 6,984,520 votes and 6,101,533 respectively.

Call for Arrest

Messrs Atiku and Obi have rejected the outcome of the election and filed separate petitions at the Presidential Election Tribunal.

Mr Keyamo, in the petition, stated that Messrs Obi and Datti’s recent comment crossed the red line because of the call for “outright truncation of democracy.”

He called on the SSS to invite/arrest, interrogate and after investigation, if necessary, charge both individuals to court.

Petition Against Obi and Datti


I write this petition with the full realisation that in a post-election period such as this, there is a need to soothe frayed nerves, lower the temperature and begin the healing process. The President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has issued a statement to this effect a few days ago.

However, it appears the President and Vice-Presidential Candidates of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed are not prepared to toe this conciliatory path for the sake of peace and national cohesion, whilst exercising their rights to pursue duly laid down constitutional means of addressing their grievances. In this regard, since the declaration of the Presidential election results, they have been hopping from one media house to the other making incendiary comments and claims about the declaration of the President-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). These comments and claims are made, not just within the boundaries of exercising their rights to freedom of speech and the freedom to air their grievances publicly, but they have since crossed the line to call for the outright truncation of democracy by insisting on the adoption of other processes outside the contemplation of our Constitution. In some cases, their privies have even called for the establishment of an Interim Government.

The latest of such are the comments made by Datti Baba-Ahmed on behalf of himself and Mr. Peter Obi on Channels TV on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, wherein he threatened that if the President-Elect is sworn in on May 29th, 2023, it would “signal the end of democracy”. Posing as an accuser, a judge and a jury all by himself, he unilaterally declared the duly elected President-elect as “unconstitutional” and, in a subliminal manner, threatened mayhem if the President-Elect is sworn in on May 29th, 2023.

I also have it on good authority that Mr. Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed have camped some youths in a popular hotel in Abuja with the sole aim of instructing them to push out inciting messages everyday on social media in order to cause panic and fear within the federation and to incite people to riot and social unrest.

It is noteworthy that Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed have submitted Elections Petitions to the courts for adjudication, but their conducts and utterances amount to subversion of the processes they have instituted in court and a subversion of our Constitution and the laid-down processes for addressing disputes and grievances. These conducts and utterances are a build-up to something more sinister and it is important you rein them in NOW!

In the circumstance, I submit this petition in my personal capacity as a patriotic Nigerian to invite/arrest, interrogate and after investigation, if necessary, charge both individuals to court for their conducts which amount to incitement and treasonable felony.




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