Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi on Tuesday denied his campaign has received $150m in donation from diaspora sources.
A group under the aegis of Tinubu-Shettima Connect had urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify Obi over the alleged funding as it violates the Electoral Act on campaign funding.
But speaking during a meeting with Nigerians in London, the former Anambra state Governor said the allegations 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 in recent days, travelling 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 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.”
Channels/ Yetunde Oke