President-elect Bola Tinubu on Thursday, raised the alarm over an alleged attempt by one Lloyd Ukwu, a United States-based Nigerian, who claimed to be Executive Director of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), to denigrate him. Tinubu accused Ukwu of being an agent of the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, engaged to discredit the mandate freely given to him by the Nigerian people.Tinubu alleged that Ukwu had planned to organise a press conference, intended to disparage and cast aspersions on the credibility of the 2023 presidential election. He said he found it insulting, fraudulent and laughable that a platform he was a part of during the military era to emancipate Nigeria was being used against him.
The president-elect, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dele Alake, however, noted that while he staked everything for the country, including his life, the likes of Obi were either hobnobbing with the military or nowhere to be found. Tinubu insisted that Ukwu was an impostor hell-bent on hoodwinking unsuspecting Nigerians in the diaspora and the international community to further a sinister agenda on behalf of Obi, who came third in the last presidential election.
The statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to an attempt by one Lloyd Ukwu, a United States-based Nigerian claiming to be the Executive Director of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), to organise a press conference specifically intended to disparage and cast aspersions on the credibility of the 2023 presidential election freely and fairly won by the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
The statement claimed that Ukwu was attempting to fraudulently exploit the NADECO platform for Obi against Tinubu, saying it is laughable and a grave insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians, who witnessed first-hand the struggle by the pro-democracy group to restore democratic rule to Nigeria and the role played by prominent Nigerians.
It listed such Nigerians to include independence hero and nationalist, the late Chief Anthony Enahoro, Tinubu, Professor Wole Soyinka, General Alani Ipoola Akinrinade, late Commodore Dan Suleiman, Late Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, and Chief Cornelius Adebayo, among others.Tinubu stated, “We reiterate that Ukwu was very peripheral to this group of eminent statesmen and illustrious Nigerians, who bore the pain and peril of exile so that our country could be free from the jackboot of military dictatorship of the late General Sani Abacha.
“It is imperative to remind Ukwu and his desperate paymasters that while Asiwaju Tinubu put his life and resources on the line during those challenging times, the likes of Peter Obi were either hobnobbing with the military or nowhere to be found.”
Tinubu accused Ukwu of trying to robe himself in an unbefitting garb, saying his desperation to confer credibility on his mission by using the NADECO name is bound to hit a dead-end and ignominy. He added that to hide under the name of NADECO to deceive the international media and interest groups was an act that should be condemned by right thinking people.
The former governor of Lagos State said he was of a firm belief that Ukwu was an agent of the Labour Party and Obi, and claimed that they were rejected by the majority of Nigerians at the February 25 polls.Tinubu stressed that majority of Nigerians had spoken loud and clear that he was their choice to lead Nigeria from May 29, 2023, and there was nothing Ukwu and his ilk could do to change this fact of history.
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja