The Apapa-led faction of the Labour Party said the Liberian President has shown that election isn’t a do-or-die affair.
A faction of the Labour Party led by Lamidi Apapa has called on its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Atiku Abubakar, to emulate Liberian President George Weah and congratulate President Bola Tinubu.
Weah, a former football megastar and Ballon d’Ór recipient lost his re-election bid to opposition leader Joseph Boakai in the just concluded presidential election in the West African country.
The president-elect had previously served as the vice president of Liberia under former President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson from 2006 to 2018 but failed his first attempt at the presidency when Weah steamrolled him in the 2017 contest, winning over 60% of the votes.
However, the tide turned against the incumbent as the country’s electoral umpire announced on Friday, November 17, 2023, that Boakai had scored 50.89% of the votes while Weah polled 49.11%.
In a rare spirit of sportsmanship, President Weah conceded defeat and called his opponent to congratulate him on his victory.
Reacting to the development, the Apapa-led Labour Party, in a statement by its spokesman, Abayomi Arabambi, on Saturday, said both the Liberian president and the President-elect have proven that election isn’t a do-or-die affair.
While recalling how former President Goodluck Jonathan made the same gesture after losing to Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, the party urged Atiku and Obi to toe the same line to join Tinubu in rebuilding the country.
“The time is ripe for former Vice-President and PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and former Governor of Anambra State and presidential candidate of LP, Mr. Peter Obi to congratulate President Bola Tinubu after they had explored all the opportunities availed by the Constitution and the Electoral Act.
“The incumbent, who in spite of losing his second term as President yesterday did not wait for anyone before he congratulated the winner. As a responsible leader, the former President Goodluck Jonathan also did the same like George Weah, and today he is being reckoned with as a great pillar of democracy.
“Labour Party therefore appeal to Obi’ and Atiku to support the administration and have faith in ongoing reforms. We had expected the duo would bury the hatchet and join hands with the President in delivering the Renewed Hope Agenda. Nigerian leaders should emulate this spirit of sportsmanship,” the statement read.