2023 Polls: Nigerians made mistake not voting me —Umeadi, ex-Anambra CJ

*Says Nnamdi Kanu's case should be settled politically
Prof. Peter N. C. Umeadi paying homage to the Obi of Onitsha, His Majesty, Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, Agbogidi at the 2023 Ofala.

By Achiever Peterson 

About eight months after the February 25 general elections, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in the 2023 polls and former Chief Judge of Anambra State, Prof. Peter Umeadi, has continued to lament over the exercise saying he was the most sincere presidential candidate in Nigeria.

According to him, Nigerians may have made a mistake by not voting him because he was the most sincere and had consistently promised that he would reposition the country.

President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress; Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People's Democratic Party; Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Alhaji Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People's Party also contested the 2023 election.

Umeadi in an interview with journalists on Sunday, October 22, 2023, in Abuja said the issue of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, should be treated as a political and not a legal matter. 

Asked whether he believed Nigerians made a mistake by not voting him as president, the former Chief Judge said he was the most sincere of all the candidates.

"Well, no, you have a right to make a mistake if you call it that; you have the right to do whatever you want to do but I said it when I flagged off and I think I should repeat what I said, when I flagged off on January 24 2023. Part of it is that I am sincere, that in fact, I am the most sincere presidential candidate in Nigeria, so maybe they needed that,” Umeadi emphasized.

He said that the 2023 election was characterized by intimidation and coercion, vote buying and voting on the bigotry of religion and ethnicity.

Umeadi said, "On intimidating people, sometimes people were told if they don’t vote for certain candidates they will go to hell. It was as bad as that, people were given money and people were told how their tribe will lose it if they didn’t get it. But then thank you for asking that question again, nobody cared to listen to what the candidates were saying. 

"I was saying I will reposition the country in four years. I was saying that I will base whatever I’m doing on the rule of law, separation of powers and due process. I was saying about getting Nigeria back. I was talking about social progress, nobody listened, nobody wanted to ask questions and in-depth questions. Where does that go?

"Now, everybody is not happy with what is on. So we have to vote for the best man not the man that ABC have told you or coerced you to vote."

On Nnamdi Kanu 

He said, "Well, the issue of insecurity in the South East first of all, it has been said before and I agree, for now, it is a serious matter. If it is solved, then that is good. The problem, if it is not solved, then you begin to look for another reason why it is still there.

"But for now everybody is saying it and I agree that the issue of Nnamdi Kanu should be treated as a political matter, not a legal matter. So if he regains his freedom, perhaps that will be the end of what we are seeing in the South East now, perhaps."

Atiku's suit against Tinubu over Chicago Varsity 

Umeadi also analyzed Atiku's case against Tinubu and his controversial certificate from Chicago State University.

Asked whether he believed Atiku went too far in the case, he said the former Vice President has a right to pursue his case case only the court can decide.

He said, "No, you cannot stop any man to pursue any course of action and it is for the courts to decide if a course of action has any merit or not. In this issue about the certificate of President Tinubu from Chicago State University, I have read one affidavit from the Chicago State University, it is about a six, seven paragraphs affidavit, you need to read it, to me it settles the matter.

"All it says in essence is that Tinubu went to Chicago State University, he graduated at the time he said he did and that he was issued with a Diploma. It went on to talk about whether if you want a certified copy for instance of a Diploma, why it should come with the current logo of the university, not the logo it was when he graduated and why another person could sign it, not the person who signed it in the first place.

"It made a pungent statement in that affidavit that the paper certificate served to them is not important, that what is important is that their records shows that President Tinubu went to the school and that he graduated at that time. And I say to you, to me that settles the matter in President Tinubu’s favour."

Electoral Act and concluding cases before presidential inauguration 

Umeadi said, "As you have rightly said, that was the thinking before the Electoral Act was amended, these are the issues to pursue. You do not shut up the barn when the horse has bolted. So yes, that should be the case. But as you have said it, nobody pursued it when they should, you do not shut the barn after the horse has bolted, that is the correct thing to do.

"Why we never get up to do things correctly is part of the problem we are facing. The law says there are many other things we have to look at in electioneering and voting in Nigeria. 

"We have to forget about coercion, there is a lot of coercion in Nigeria electioneering; coercion from money, coercion from religion, coercion from tribalism. And let me say to you, one coercion is as bad as another coercion. If you coerce and another man coerces, you shouldn’t complain."
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