Presidential candidate of the Labor Party, Peter Obi on Tuesday denied his campaign had gotten $150m in donations from diaspora sources.
A group under the aegis of Tinubu-Shettima Connect had encouraged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify Obi over the supposed funding as it violates the Electoral Act on campaign funding.
However, speaking during a meeting with Nigerians in London, the former Anambra state Governor said the claims were based on mere speculation.
“Nobody has given me anything,” he said. “That is speculation. What I need is not what they would give me. But what they would give Nigeria, because we need them to turn around Nigeria.
“This is the energy, the capacity that we need to turn around Nigeria. Every country that was turned around, was done by the diaspora. Even in the Bible, Joseph, who left later came back to feed his people.”
Obi has been meeting with Nigerians across the world as of late, going through Europe and the United States.
He said his meetings were not part of campaign activities.
“It is not campaign, it is consultation,” he said. “I am consulting Nigerian diasporans to know why they should be involved in the Nigerian electoral process. And you can see from my conversation and everything that what I am doing is saying let’s get involved.
“They are the most critical components of turning around Nigeria. The investment Nigeria needs to turn around is diasporans. If they believe in Nigeria and bring their resources, both in terms of their material, talent, and energy, we will turn around the country.”
Obi, who has gotten far and wide support from numerous young Nigerians, called for the 2023 elections to be based on merit.
“Nigeria 2023 election should not be based on ethnicity, religion, connection, ‘my turn’, or any bias,” he said. “It must be on character, competence, capacity, and determination to deal with the problems of Nigeria.”