I won’t recognise anyone as President-Elect – Methodist Archbishop

Most Rev. Dr Chibuzo Raphael Opoko, the Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia, Abia State, has chosen not to recognise anyone as Nigeria’s President-elect until the petitions filed at the tribunal as a result of the February 25 presidential election are all concluded.

He conveyed his decision during an interview with Vanguard, expressing disappointment at the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), for failing to upload the presidential results directly from polling units to its server via the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS machines as required by the new Electoral Act, and as earlier promised by the Commission.

INEC declared Bola Tinubu president-elect on February 29 after an election that international observers said was marred by widespread manipulation, voter suppression and intimidation.

The cleric said that allegations of heavy manipulation of the presidential poll results were too weighty to be ignored, hence his resolve not to acknowledge anybody as president-elect until the court delivered the final judgement on the various petitions against the INEC declared winner of the contest.

“How can I do that when the premise that INEC used is being challenged in the competent court of law?” Opoko queried.

The former Secretary of Conference and the Chair, World Methodist Council, Social and International Affairs, further explained that contrary to misconceptions, supporters of the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi known as ‘Obedients’ are not members of Labour Party but millions of Nigerians who are dissatisfied with the “goings-on, corruption, insecurity and misgovernance in the land.”

Opoko said;“A lot of people talk about the ‘Obedients’ as if they are a political party. They are people who are tired and dissatisfied with the way things are done in Nigeria, and they wanted a change.

“They cut across different political parties, religion and geo-political zones. They only saw themselves in the expression of the LP candidate who speaks and has the vision of their expectations.

So, the ‘Obedients’ movement is beyond Peter Obi. Peter Obi is just like a driver that has been engaged by the ‘Obedients’ movement to take them to the promised land. He urged the judiciary to be upright in handling the petitions before it, stressing that the world is watching with keen interest to know how it will decide on the petitions.

The cleric urged the judiciary not to betray the confidence reposed in it by the people as the last hope of the common man. Nigerians are taking note and identifying those who are working against the Nation. Those who are anti-new Nigeria of their dreams. Those who have their knees on the neck of the nation cause the Nation difficulties in breathing.

A day of reckoning must surely come and they will never forget but will surely remember. Hence, the judiciary is called upon to dispense justice and uphold truth no matter whose ox is gored.”

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