Obi denies receiving $150m from Nigerians in diaspora
Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, on Tuesday, denied claims that he or his campaign organisation received the sum of $150 million from the diaspora as a donation to his cause.
Obi was responding to allegations making the rounds on social media that he or his campaign organisation had received a sum of $150 million from Nigerians in diaspora. A claim many believe is in clear violation of electoral law of funding from outside the shores of the country.
According to an investigation, these claims were made by a group who had pleaded with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify Obi over the alleged funding as it violates the Electoral Act on campaign funding.
However, speaking during an interview with Channels TV in London, the former running mate to Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 general election, denied such allegations, saying that they were only “baseless speculation”.
Obi who was in London to continue his sensitization tour to Nigerians outside the shores of Nigeria.
“Nobody has given me anything,” he said, with a bodily show of rejection to deny any such amount being received by him or his organisation . “That is speculation. What I need is not what they would give me. But what they would give Nigeria, because we need them to turn around Nigeria.
“This is the energy, the capacity that we need to turn around Nigeria. Every country that was turned around was done by the diaspora. Even in the Bible, Joseph, who left later, came back to feed his people.”
“It is not a campaign, it is consultation,” he added, defending his meetings with Nigerians in Europe and North America. “I am consulting Nigerian diasporas to know why they should be involved in the Nigerian electoral process. And you can see from my conversation and everything that what I am doing is saying let’s get involved.
They are the most critical components in turning around Nigeria. The investment Nigeria needs to turn around is from diasporans. If they believe in Nigeria and bring their resources, both in terms of their material, talent, and energy, we will turn around the country. ”
Obi, who has received widespread support from many young Nigerians, called for the 2023 elections to be based on merit and not on religion or ethnicity.
“Nigeria’s 2023 election should not be based on ethnicity, religion, connection, ‘my turn’, or any bias,” he said. “It must be on character, competence, capacity, and determination to deal with the problems of Nigeria.”