Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has endorsed the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, as its preferred candidate for the February 25 presidential election.
The forum took the decision after its extraordinary meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
The leadership of the forum is made up of the Middle Belt, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, and the Pan Niger Delta Forum.
“That we give our unalloyed vote of thanks to our father and leader, Chief Edwin Clark, for his boldness, his sagacity, his tenacity, and his relentlessness in pursuing the aims and aspirations of this organisation,” the form said in a communique.
“That we warn all those who want to change the hands of the clock of Nigeria by doing anything that will derail a peaceful transition to the next civilian government of this country, that we shall rise like one man in defence of the ballot box and that Nigerians must go to vote.
“This we have resolved today and we enjoin other Nigerians who do not belong to our organisation to join us in realising this for the betterment of Nigeria: Peter Obi is your son and he is the rock upon which Nigeria will stand.”
Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; President of the Middle Belt Forum, Bitrus Pogu; and the immediate past president-general of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, John Nwodo; amongst others were in attendance at the event.
Representatives of the various groups that make up the forum explained their rationale for agreeing with the endorsement. Adebanjo and Clark had previously endorsed Obi.
The regional leaders say they are committed to ensuring that Obi emerges victorious in the 2023 presidential elections and urged all Nigerians to fight for a better country with their votes.