2023: How Peter Obi, LP flagbearer, took Niger by storm
Obi Support groups promise to work, vote for credibility, not political structures
By Valentine Amanze
The dream of many Nigerians for a positive change in the political leadership of Nigeria is gradually being actualized with the emergence, popularity and the acceptance of Mr. Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra State, and presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock in 2023.
Obi, who appears to have broken all the ethnic, religious and social barriers with his brand of politics, took Niger State (North Central) by storm at the weekend.
Though, he was not in the state in person, his name and aura bought out various groups together in Minna, the Niger State capital.
The groups, which converged on various spots, sang in Hausa language, “Peter Obi for presidency”, “We are Obi-dient”, and “Peter Obi has structure.”
All the groups that met at different locations within Minna, resolved at their separate gatherings to dedicate their time and resources to enlighten citizens on the salient qualities of Peter Obi compared to other Presidential aspirants.
Addressing members at the IBB Pen House, Minna, the convener of Peter Obi Support Network (POSN), Malam Ismaila Favu, said that Nigeria was in need of a change from the old folks to a young man, whose integrity and track records have not been in doubt to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari next year.
Ismaila Favu, a seasoned journalist and unionist, however, mocked those, who claimed that Peter Obi has no structures to emerge President in 2023.
He said, “For years those who claimed to have structures together impoverished and exploited Nigerians. This time we will work for and vote credibility above structures.’’
Also at the Mid-Event Resort, Minna, Coordinator of Peter Obi Presidential Global Network (PPGN) in Niger State, Dr. Philip Ifejika, said that the gathering was to enlighten citizens on the need to support the Presidential bid of former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State.
Ifejika said that the meeting, which was well attended by leaders of many socio-cultural groups in Niger State, provided the opportunity for supporters of Peter Obi to meet and strategize ahead of electioneering kick-off.
The Labour Party (LP) Legal Adviser, Akingbade Oyelekan, had during the question and answer session, said that membership of the party nationwide Was swelling as a better political alternative for Nigerians ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Contrary to speculations on the cost of forms for all contestable seats including; Senatorial, House of Representatives, Governorship and State Houses of Assembly, Oyelekan gave detailed breakdown of how much forms for each of the positions cost.
The legal adviser however pointed out that Labour Party has no room for people who are not ready and willing to make financial commitments towards actualising their political ambitions by way of expecting that forms be given to them free to contest any seat.
Also, Chairman of the party in Niger State, Mohammed Musa, reminded supporters that the LP has offices across the 25 local government areas and was still counting the number of new members since Peter Obi indicated interest to contest under the party.
He also unveiled the party’s Governorship candidate, Engineer Usman Mohammed, who encouraged participants to mobilise more support for Labour Party and Peter Obi for President, come 2023.
While another Peter Obi support group was meeting at another residential facility within Minna metropolis, it was gathered that the agenda of the PPGN, POSN and the others were to ensure good governance for Nigerians, which according to them, could only be guaranteed if Peter Obi emerges President in 2023.
If there is anything to go by what the proponents of rotational presidency had envisaged that it should be between the three major regions and tribes; Hausa-Fulani who have dominated the scene since independence, followed by the Yoruba and the Igbo, the groups said they see no reasons the goal post should be adjusted when it comes to the turn of an Easterner.
Except for Goodluck Ebele Jonathan from the South-South region, who providence brought to the scene, when former President Umar Musa Yar’Adua died and he became President, the groups argued that equity, justice and fairness were lacking in the current equation hence their strong support for Peter Obi.
Though the Anambra State former governor has intimidating records compared to other aspirants, the groups said that he [Obi] represented the face of the Nigerian youths that would not be President by proxy or engaging in activities that promote capital freight but would change the narratives that had almost made Nigeria the capital of corruption worldwide.
With the rising followership and acceptance of Peter Obi and his Labour Party, the ethnic cum religious barrier in Nigerian politics is fast fading, as the youths all over the country have embraced the man-of-the-momment, Peter Obi, and his philosophy like they did in #EndSARs protest.