Obi believes there's a distinction between the party making the promise and the candidate doing the same.
Vice presidential candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi, has dismissed the claim that the party's candidate, Atiku Abubakar, promised to reduce the cost of premium motor spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, to N87 or N90 per litre if elected.
The party's spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, had issued a statement on November 1, 2018, to announce that Atiku has worked out a pricing template that will immediately crash the pump price of fuel in the country if he becomes president in 2019.
The statement read, "Our Party is talking with top international players in the oil and gas industry, and this engagement has shown that the appropriate pump price of fuel in the Nigerian market, under the current subsidy regimes of the Buhari Presidency, should be within the borders of N87 to N90."
"We urge Nigerians not to despair as our Presidential candidate, Atiku, has already worked out a blueprint that will end sleazes, ensure appropriate pricing template and free resources to guarantee the availability of product on a national pricing regime," Ologbondiyan added.
Contrary to the party's position, Obi, a former Anambra State governor, has distanced the candidate from the promise which stirred a lot of debate two weeks ago.
While speaking during an interview on Arise TV's The Morning Show on Monday, November 12, 2018, Obi said there's a distinction between the party making the promise and the candidate doing the same.
He said, "The candidate didn't say so. If they ask me, that was the party spokesman. I, as Peter Obi, will tell you that it'll be determined by market forces.
"When the candidate starts, he'll make promises and I, as his loyal vice president, will ensure that whatever he's promised, we'll keep it."
Fuel price could go up or down – Obi
When further questioned on what Atiku's administration would do to tackle the fuel price menace, Obi said it'll be determined by market forces that could mean the price could increase or decrease.
While initially trying to deflect that fuel price is not as big a problem as other issues like the rate of out-of-school children, Obi said the price will not change drastically with an Atiku presidency.
He said, "Whenever you talk about issue of fuel and this, you're talking about few millions in Lagos and other cities that can afford a car. Nigeria has less cars than most states in the United States. We have 13.5 million children out of school. That is our bother. We have millions of children who don't have jobs, that should bother us not what people pay in fuel.
"And I can tell you, it (fuel price) is not going to be different from what they (Nigerians) are paying today. But it'll be determined by market forces, it can go up or down.
"The difference between Atiku's presidency is that he's a businessman, he understands business. I, too, am a businessman and we must make it work."
2019 presidential election
While next year's election, scheduled for February 16, 2019, is expected to be keenly-contested between President Buhari and Atiku, they both face competition from other candidates including Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC).
Others are Tope Fasua of the Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Eunice Atuejide of the National Interest Party (NIP), Olusegun Mimiko of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Adesina Fagbenro-Byron of the Kowa Party (KP), Chike Ukaegbu of the Advanced Allied Party (AAP), Hamza Al-Mustapha of the People's Party of Nigeria (PPN), Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and many more.
79 candidates will contest in the election, the highest number ever in Nigeria's electoral history.