The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has condemned the attack on him by the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, for stating the Federal Government’s position on the 2023 elections.
The minister responded to the organisation’s attack in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Washington.
Afenifere had berated the minister for accusing the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, of inciting people to violence over the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
Responding to Afenifere, the minister said the attack on him was borne out of frustration and anger at the loss of their investment in Obi’s ambition.
“It is clear from what they said that Afenifere invested heavily in Peter Obi’s presidential bid, and they failed woefully, that is the reason why they are lamenting.
“They have refused to get over the loss of what they invested in Obi’s presidential campaign.
“But the earlier they did, the better for them,’’ he said.
The minister said Afenifere had lost its reputation and relevance as the voice of the South-West.
“Fortunate were days when the Afenifere sneezed and the whole country would catch a cold. It is not the same thing right now.
“When Afenifere talks and you begin to ask yourself, which Afenifere? you know what that means,’’ he said.
He stressed his position that there was no provision in INEC laws that allows the commission to transmit the results of elections electronically.
Mohammed said the entire process from voting to collation to sorting to tabulation and transmission was manual.
He said the laws setting up INEC give the commission the right to determine the mode of elections, the mode of collation and the transmission of results.
The minister also responded to a call by a civic organisation, Integrity Group, calling for his national apology over his comment on Obi.
He said the group had failed to understand the position of the Federal Government on the unacceptable postures of the Labour Party presidential candidate.
“I said Peter Obi and the Labour Party should stop inciting people to violence since they have submitted themselves to the election tribunal.
“They should stop asking people to go out on the streets, they should stop the reckless statement that if the President-elect is sworn in, it will be the end of democracy,” he said.
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