✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters

Peter Obi: Endorsements dwarf crisis rocking LP

It has been endorsement galore recently for Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), making pundits to see the party as a…

It has been endorsement galore recently for Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), making pundits to see the party as a third force after the APC and PDP. 

The PDP ruled Nigeria from the beginning of the Fourth Republic in 1999 to 2015 when the APC ended its 16-year rule. Obi’s entrance into the presidential race has changed the dynamics.

The presidential race is now seen mainly as a three-horse race between the labour party and the other two main parties.

Obi and LP enjoy goodwill among the youths and on social media platforms, especially Twitter, and any post that relates to his candidature attracts thousands of reactions. 

However, the euphoria that greeted his candidature among young Nigerians is being threatened by the party’s internal wrangling, especially since the composition of its Presidential Campaign Council (PCC).

Obi’s emergence

On May the 31, 2022, a group named the “Like Minds for Peter Obi” stormed the national secretariat of the PDP and bought the N40m presidential forms for him. 

Ekene Nwakuche, leader of the group, said they were a coalition of young Nigerian professionals that felt the country was not going in the right direction and needed someone, “A seasoned technocrat that can steer the affairs of the country in the right direction.” 

He said the group was working with other organisations like “Take Back Nigeria” which promised to mobilise 10 million votes for Obi.  

But not long after that, Obi, who was the running mate to Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 presidential election, disclosed that he was no longer comfortable with the situation of things in the PDP and threatened to dump the party.

At a meeting with zonal and youth leaders of the party from the 36 states of the federation, his campaign team raised an alarm over a plot to force him to step down from the race. 

Obi’s campaign manager then, Doyin Okupe, said there were moves to frustrate his efforts towards clinching the PDP presidential ticket.

But just three days to the PDP presidential primary, Obi withdrew from the race and resigned his membership of the party, citing acts that are not consistent with the tenets of democracy.

Not long after that, Obi joined LP and was unveiled as its presidential candidate.  

Internal crisis

The unveiling of Obi as LP’s presidential candidate and the influx of his associates and supporters into the party were not well received by those on ground before the coming of Obi.

Daily Trust Saturday gathered that many of the older members of the party alleged being sidelined and intimidated by Obi and his associates.

The crisis came to a head after the announcement of the PCC. While the inauguration was going on, the now suspended National Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Arabambi, told reporters that the party was not aware of what was happening and was not part of it.

He accused the erstwhile campaign DG, Okupe, of hijacking LP’s structures.

It took the intervention of LP’s National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure, to assuage the supporters of Obi that all was well.

Speaking at the inauguration, Abure said it was not easy to arrive at the members of the campaign list as the party was after individuals with integrity, capacity and requisite experience.

But due to agitations and the ensuing crisis, the PCC was expanded to accommodate more members.

However, the measures put together by the party have not helped much to settle the issues as the alleged suspension of Okupe, the publicity secretary and the erstwhile national youth leader, Anslem Eragbe, are all part of the crisis rocking the party.

Pundits say if not checked, the crisis will affect the chances of the party in the general elections.  


Notwithstanding the internal squabbles, there have been a flurry of endorsements for the party’s standard bearer, which analysts say will definitely boost his chances in the February poll.

Even the five PDP governors (G-5) who are at war with the party and have refused to campaign for the presidential candidate of their party, Atiku Abubakar, are said to be rooting for Obi. 

Prominent Nigerians like former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Edwin Clark have come out to endorse Obi.

Obasanjo said even though none of the presidential candidates was a saint, “But when one compares their characters, antecedents, their understanding, knowledge, discipline and vitality that they can bring to bear and the great efforts required to stay focused on the job, particularly looking at where the country is today and with the experience on the job that I personally had, Peter Obi has an edge.

“Others like all of us have what they can collectively contribute to the new dispensation to liberation, restoration and salvaging of Nigeria. One other important point to make about Peter is that he is a needle with thread attached to it from North and South and he may not get lost.

“In other words, he has people who can pull his ears, if and when necessary. He has a young and able running mate with a clean track record of achievement both in public and private life.”

Referring to those that said it was their turn, Obasanjo explained that his choice of Obi was also hinged on the fact that the aspiration to lead the country should be a collective quest and not a personal or selfish ambition.

He also stated that the solution to the myriad of problems should be looked at from the perspective of how “we” could solve it, and not the “my turn” syndrome.  

Elder statesman and leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, has also endorsed Obi, saying his action followed a thorough examination of his plan for the country.

Clark also said giving the opportunity for a South Easterner to lead the country would give true meaning to a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon’s mantra after the civil war: “No victor, no vanquished.”

Clark further revealed that under his directive, the national leadership of PANDEF met with Obi in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, to present to him the expectations and demands of the people of the Niger Delta.

He added that the decision to back Obi centred on his plans for infrastructural development, devolution of power, resource control and effective and inclusive participation in the oil and gas sector, among others. 

He noted that the South East which had not produced an elected president of Nigeria since after the First Republic should be given the opportunity to produce the next president given that the zone had the capacity to present highly competent and qualified persons.

He further said, “Taking all these factors into consideration, and putting His Excellency, Peter Obi, side by side with all other candidates being presented by other political parties, I am convinced beyond doubt that our country Nigeria has a great opportunity to elect a phenomenal team, the candidate of the Labour Party, and his Deputy, Senator Datti Baba-Ahmad, as president and vice president.

“I formally hereby announce that I will, therefore, personally vote for Peter Obi on Election Day.”

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, a member of the G-5, commended Obasanjo over his endorsement of Obi, noting that if he were not a member of the PDP he would have personally led Obi’s campaign across the country, adding that he possessed the qualities of a leader who would be a true president of the country by guaranteeing justice, equity and fairness for all Nigerians.

Are you currently earning in Naira but need salary/earnings in Dollars? You have an opportunity to earn as much as $10,000 (₦9.2 million naira) monthly. Click here to get evidence.

%d bloggers like this: