LABOUR Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi has denied receiving $150 million from the Diaspora for his 2023 presidential campaign.
An All Progressives Congress (APC) support group, Tinubu-Shettima Connect, had urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify Obi for receiving funds from the Diaspora, saying it violates provisions of the Electoral Act on campaign funding.
Reacting, the former Anambra State governor said the allegation was based on mere speculation.
He said that his engagements with Nigerians in the Diaspora were not based on what they could give to him but on how they can get involved in reshaping the country’s fortune.
“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.”
He also said that his engagements with Nigerians outside the country was for consultations.
“It is not campaign, it is consultation. I am consulting Nigeria 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 received widespread support from many 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.”