2023: Obi Reveals How He’ll Lead Nigeria From Consumption To Production

Mr Peter Obi spoke in Makurdi on November 1, 2022.
File photo of Mr Peter Obi

 

The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, has revealed how he will move Nigeria from consumption to production if he is elected president in 2023. 

For quite a while, the LP Flagbearer has been of the opinion that only a move to more production can guarantee Nigeria a more stable economy, increase wealth and better the lives of millions of Nigerians, who at this time currently live below the poverty line.

In a post on Monday where he broke down the concept of Consumption to Production, Mr Obi said he and his team have a three-tracked plan aimed at achieving Goal 12 of the SDG, namely ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.


READ ALSO: We Can Wipe Off Multidimensional Poverty In Less Than A Decade – Obi


“First, our focus will be on agriculture and production-centered growth for food security and export, with more emphasis on exporting finished products instead of commodities and raw materials.

“This relates mainly food and textiles. Nigeria has over 84 million hectares of arable land. And barely 40% of our arable land is cultivated today. Nigeria’s arable land is her new oil and gold.

“Second, pursuant to Goal 9 of the SDGs our administration will from its inception, continue to encourage investment in infrastructure – energy, transport, irrigation, and telecoms—to grow these and other sectors.

“We are eager to quickly close the infrastructure gap between now and 2030. We will expand the frontiers of financial inclusion to ensure that SMEs have greater access to credit to grow.

“We will work with financial institutions to improve their ability to identify credit worthy borrowers; and support inventory financing, which will help to unlock finance for SMEs dealing with high account receivables.

“We will enforce the legal framework protecting foreign investors and their indigenous partners. This is the only way to tamper monopoly and capital flight.

“Third, as a nation, Nigeria must look beyond oil. We therefore, intend to leapfrog Nigeria from oil to the Fourth Industrial Revolution by expanding physical infrastructure through market-driven reforms that will unleash growth-enabling entrepreneurship and market-creating innovations.

“To ensure sustainability and resilience, we will stop borrowing for consumption. All loans must be invested in regenerative projects. We shall pursue a drastic reduction in cost of governance and corruption; improve ease of doing business to attract Foreign Direct Investment to jumpstart industrialization and when borrowing is unavoidable, it will be strictly for production,” Mr Obi enunciated.

He further stressed that it is imperative that henceforth, Nigeria should strive to operate within available resources and strive for a balanced national budget as cost saving measures.

According to him, whatever oil the nation still has, will be refined domestically.

He added that these measures along with ending the leakages including the subsidy regime and improving Nigeria’s tax regime should do the magic of moving Nigeria from consumption to production.

2023: South-East, Middle Belt Forum Endorses Peter Obi

Mr Peter Obi spoke in Makurdi on November 1, 2022.
File photo of Mr Peter Obi

 

The South-East and Middle Belt Forum has endorsed the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi. 

This was the group’s position during a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday. The Chairman of the Forum Olisa Uzowulu noted that the former Anambra State governor ranks higher than all presidential candidates for next year’s exercise.

“We are going to go out there and fight a change. That is why you get the South-East, the Middle Belt, the South-South and the South-West to be one body and campaign for Peter Obi. There is no two-way about it,” he said during the conference.

“The Forum has decided on it. We are going to go out and work for him as a group. There is no choice about that.”

READ ALSOWike Apologises To Oshiomhole For Supporting Obaseki’s Re-Election

As far as the Forum is concerned, Obi’s support base transcends tribe, religion, and ethnicity as the Chairman said the former governor’s aspiration is people-driven.

“It is the people that are driving Obi, not even the party. They love him, people want a change. They are tired of the situation,” Uzowulu explained.

“There is nothing to sell to people anymore – it is not tribe, or religion but the belief that we have to move ahead. People are going to make a choice this time, nobody is going to hoodwink them again.”

He, therefore, called on members of the Forum and its supporters across the regions to pick up their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) and vote en masse for the Labour Party candidate next year.

Obi is one of the leading contenders for the presidential seat alongside the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He was the running mate to Atiku during the 2019 poll under the main opposition PDP which lost to President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.

Soludo’s Letter Full Of Fallacies, Personal Vendetta – Obi-Datti Campaign

A photo combination of Anambra Governor, Charles Soludo and the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
A photo combination of Anambra Governor, Charles Soludo and the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

 

The Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation says a “belaboured treatise of an article” written by Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo on one of his predecessors, Peter Obi, is full of fallacies and personal vendetta. 

Soludo had in a lengthy opinion piece on Monday tackled the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, who governed Anambra between 2006 to 2014.

Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said Obi knows he cannot win the 2023 presidential election and is only playing a game.

READ ALSO: 2023: Peter Obi Knows That He Can’t And Won’t Win – Soludo

I Did My Little As Anambra Gov, Soludo Should Do More As A Professor – Peter Obi

However, on Tuesday, the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation, in a statement by its spokesperson, Ndi Kato, said the Labour Party has bigger issue to focus on.

See the full statement issued by the LP’s spokesman below:

THE PEOPLE ARE OUR PRIORITY.

(Response to an article by Prof Chukwuma Soludo, by Ndi Kato, Spokesperson of  The Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation)

We read with amusement and dismay, a very lengthy and belaboured treatise of an article, written by Professor Chukwuma Soludo, Governor of Anambra State, focused on our Presidential Candidate, His Excellency Peter Obi.

It seems obvious that Professor Soludo is itching for the limelight, in this election season,  perhaps fired up by possible understanding or alliance with our struggling political opponents.

While we note the glaring fallacies, misrepresentations, personal insinuations and signs of personal vendetta in that long writeup, neither His Excellency Peter Obi, The Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation, nor the Labour Party, for that matter, has any interest in an extended engagement with Prof Soludo this critical time when there is a bigger fish to fry.

His Excellency Peter Obi has his work well cut out for him, this campaign season.

Primarily, he is accelerating his reach-out and influence to all Nigerians, rural and urban, in all areas, regions and states; and firmly engaging them, on his critical and visionary plans to take the country from consumption to production.

In doing this, Mr. Peter Obi is firmly placing the Youths, intensive Agricultural revolution, and revamping of critical areas of the economy as part of the focal points in the drive to turn around our fortunes and take back our country.

We, the Youths, spreading across partisan political lines, have found reason to place the highest level of trust and confidence in HE Peter Obi, and we are committed to continuing to a partnership with him,  transparently, vigorously and creatively, to bring to fruition, the vital changes urgently required in this our country, of so much potential.

We strongly believe that A New Nigeria is possible… and together with Peter Obi, we are working to make this a reality.

This is our focus; this is our occupation.. and we shall not be distracted!

 

Ndi Kato

Spokesperson

Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation

 

Read Soludo’s full statement below:

14th November, 2022

History Beckons and I will not be Silent (Part 1)

Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR

My attention has been drawn to some of the tirades on social media following my frank response during an interview on Channels TV regarding the “investments” Mr. Peter Obi claimed to have made with Anambra state revenues. Sadly, several of the comments left the issue of the interview to probe or suggest motives, inferred from my response on “investment” that I am opposed to Peter Obi’s ambition and therefore committed a “crime” for which the punishment is internecine abuse and harassment even to my family. Some people even suggest that the gunmen who went to attack a checkpoint at my hometown on Saturday 12th November but were gunned down was part of the mob reaction. I used to think that for decent people, certain conducts are off-limits, and that in Anambra, politics is not warfare.

Of course, as a Christian, I know that telling the truth can be very costly, even suicidal. Our Lord and saviour was crucified simply for telling the truth the people did not want to hear. I promised that I won’t be the usual politician, and will not knowingly lie to the people. I am not an Angel but rather than knowingly repeat the same deceitful character that politicians are known for, I would leave public office. It is a vow I made to my God and to my family. Only God knows how many days I will be on this seat but whether I am on it or not I will always say it as it is— knowing fully the suicidal consequences of telling the truth in a political arena, especially in a country where lying and deceit by politicians have become culture and celebrated as being “smart”.

Ideally, I should just have laughed off the infantile exuberances as many friends advised (I am used to this, having been in the ‘Arena’ for a while). I always re-read the quote “The Man in the Arena…” by President Theodore Roosevelt (1910) to remind myself of the burden of public office. Several well meaning Nigerians and Ndigbo called to advise that I should just ignore them. A respected Igbo elder-statesman who called, advised that I should just ignore what he described as “Peter Obi and his social media mob”. According to him, “everyone knows that he is going nowhere, but they are looking for who to blame”. After some 20 minutes of discussion, he advised that I should personally author a response— just for the records.

Everyone knows that I don’t follow the winds nor one to succumb to bullies, nor shy away from a good fight especially when weighty matters of principles and future of the people are involved. One lesson I learnt from my former boss and mentor, President Obasanjo, is never to be on the fence. I learnt that one must always take a stand: for better or for worse. I do so with every sense of humility, and leave history to judge. Most people have commended me for “tactfully avoiding being drawn into the Peter Obi issue” until now. Since I am now being forced into the Arena on this matter, I have a duty and a right of reply, if only for the records, and to also give the social media mob something substantive to rant upon and rain their abuses for weeks. In this preliminary response, there are some things I will refrain from saying here because, in the end, February/March 2023 will come and go, and life will continue.

At the outset, let me state that this exhibition of desperation, intolerance and attempt to bully everyone who expresses the slightest of dissent is reprehensible. This is Hitler in the making. When the revered Arch Bishop Chukwuma stated that in Enugu State, they were not obedient, he was ferociously bullied on social media. Any dissent is tagged a saboteur or, in my case, it could be that I want to contest for president after office or that I am envious of Peter Obi. Soludo envious of Peter Obi? Totally laughable! But this is the same person I was asking to return to APGA in March 2022 and contest for president and yet envious or doesn’t want him to be president. This is madness! Seriously speaking, the obdurate attempt to muscle the republican Igbos to maintain the silence of the graveyard is antithetical to everything Igbo. It is not who we are. Insulting other ethnic groups and religions or denigrating others is certainly not the path to Aso Rock. If this is not checked, it may indeed endanger the future political and economic interests of the Igbos.

In his time, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was the undisputed all time leader of the Igbos but he had his arch rivals and even independent candidates won landslide elections against his party, NCNC, in Igboland. Obafemi Awolowo had stiff opposition among the Yorubas while Ahmadu Bello had his share of opponents in the Northern region. Today, no one has accused Afenifere or other strong presidential candidates from the South West of being “anti Yoruba” because Tinubu is a frontrunner, nor has anyone accused Kwankwaso and several other Northern candidates of being “anti-North” for not supporting Atiku. As a full blooded republican Igboman and democrat, I reject this despotic intolerance.

Yes, I fully understand the anger of some urban and Diaspora youths and some Nigerians who are dissatisfied with the trajectory of the country or with the candidates of the major parties and wished other options. Not knowing much about others, some see Peter Obi as the contrast they wished for. I get the point. But this is a democracy: the minority will have their say, but the majority their way. Translating anger and social media agitation into political outcomes requires humongous work.

For full disclosure, let me state that Peter Obi and I are not just friends, we call ourselves “brothers”. But we have political differences: he left APGA for PDP after his tenure as Governor while I have remained in APGA since 2013. During the last two governorship elections in Anambra in 2017 and 2021, he led the PDP campaigns but APGA won landslide in both elections. By the way, in 2016, he visited and proposed that I defect to PDP and contest the 2017 election against the incumbent Willie Obiano, but I declined. After my victory in November 2021, he called to congratulate me as I did to him in 2010. That is the Anambra way: we fight fiercely during campaigns but share drinks at the next social events. After all, it was the great Zik of Africa who taught us that in politics, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies but only permanent interests.

We sat next to each other during the Emeka Anyaoku lecture at Nnamdi Azikiwe University on 8th March, 2022 and I made an offer for him to return to APGA and contest as its presidential candidate. Yes, I did. In my mind, it was time for Igbos to organize their region politically before stepping out to bargain power with other organized coalitions. On his part, he tried to convince me that he expected APC to unravel while PDP would be the “only one” standing. We debated and he proposed that we could meet later to discuss further. He attended my inauguration on March 17. A few weeks later, he requested and I obliged him to use the Anambra State government house facility to launch his presidential bid under PDP. I was surprised to read in the news later that he had defected to LP (a party with literally zero structure), thereby attempting to weaken the same PDP he saw as the saviour a few weeks earlier. He paid me a courtesy call as the presidential candidate of LP, and we had frank discussions.

During our meeting, I reminded him of my proposal to him to come and contest under APGA. More importantly, I told him (possibly to his surprise) that I did not make the proposal in the belief that he will win in 2023 but that it would give us the opportunity to get our people organized as a bargaining force, with him leading the effort since I was busy as Governor (my immediate predecessor, Willie Obiano had indicated to me that he was not disposed to contest an election). We noted that we were in opposing political parties and in response to my direct question as to how I might help him, he requested that I should just ensure a “level playing field” and let the people decide. In fidelity, my government has provided the atmosphere for him and his supporters to operate freely in Anambra without any molestation (compare with treatments to LP even in other South East states), and allowed his billboards which are, in many places, wrongly placed almost on the roads. As a person, I have several shortcomings but being petty is not one of them. We have shown him tremendous goodwill—which he did not extend to the same Labour Party when he was Governor (Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, as LP governorship candidate in 2013 was denied the use of Ekwueme Square for his rallies).

Someone reminded me that a mob has no head and hence cannot reason. The same Peter Obi was one of those who told Ndigbo that APGA was the vehicle through which Igbos would organize to engage the rest of Nigeria politically. He was said to have sworn to Ojukwu and publicly that he would quit politics the day he leaves APGA. The rest is history. When he was the Vice-Presidential candidate under PDP in 2019, the emotive train then dubbed the ticket “the Igbo project”. As then chairman of planning and strategy committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, I cautioned for a more pragmatic approach but the emotive blaze of the time held sway. We were vindicated afterwards.

By the way, APGA is Nigeria’s third largest political party today (after APC and PDP, it is the only other party with a state governor and third largest presence at the National Assembly). And some people have the temerity to suggest that APGA’s candidate should “step down” for Peter Obi as the “Igbo candidate”. I wonder when Igbos met to choose a candidate. They even argue that afterall APGA supported President Jonathan and did not field a candidate then. Well, the fact as I was told was that no candidate showed interest under APGA then. Besides, APGA’s unwritten rule then was to support the party at the centre — which, if we apply this time, should actually be APC. But we have our own candidate. Recall that all the political parties had their primaries during the same period. Once Peter Obi realized that he won’t get the presidential or vice-presidential ticket of PDP he ran to Labour Party (a political party known as a transit camp for aspirants who lost primaries in APC, PDP and APGA), and the chorus by a vociferous minority now is that LP has become the “Igbo project”, and the APGA candidate who emerged the same time as Peter Obi should “step down”. Ridiculous! Now I truly understand that a mob cannot reason.

When will Ndigbo understand and learn politics, especially of Nigeria? When Bola Ahmed Tinubu defied the political wind of the time and stood out as the “only man standing” in AD and later AC (before ACN) against a sitting president of Yoruba descent, no one accused him of being “anti-Yoruba”. Indeed, everyone recalls that both Tinubu and President Obasanjo disagreed politically, and probably still disagree—but none is being accused of being “anti- Yoruba”. Under Tinubu, the South West strategically organized under a different political party, the ACN and went into a formidable alliance that kicked out a sitting president (in Africa?), and that alliance is not broken yet. Igbos, in their frenzied Nzogbu nzogbu politics, have sadly found themselves in a political cul de sac. Tragic indeed! When will my people smell the morning coffee?

Let me now address the substance of my response during the interview, and I stand by what I said. On record, I doubt that any governor in Nigeria has paid as much tribute to his predecessors as I have done during campaigns and in office. I always said that ALL of them did well and to the best of their abilities. Yes, Peter Obi was governor for 8 years (2006 -2014) during a period of unprecedented oil boom and prosperity in Nigeria (Nigerian economy was growing at average of 6-8% per annum, and oil price was highest during this time). I have seen all kinds of funny comments and interpretations regarding what I said about the value of his “investments”. Some refer to SabMiller and bandy all kinds of figures as to how the investment of $12 million is now worth less than $3 million. Of course, there is room for legitimate debate about the logic or quality of the investments. For example, people might differ as to the propriety of using taxpayers money to promote a company in which one is a shareholder in the name of “investment”, or even whether so called “savings” are warranted when there were dozens of schools without roofs or classrooms, or local governments without access roads or hospitals without doctors/nurses. A Bishop recently publicly advised that I should please try to construct the “Ngige type of quality roads”, stating that the ones done by his successor (that is, Peter Obi) had washed off, while Ngige’s remained. I promised and we are delivering quality roads that Anambra has not seen before.

For sure, prudence in public resource management is desirable and we are opening new frontiers in that area. People will however differ as to whether saving money in the bank account is a KPI (key performance indicator) for a government where poverty is escalating except where its institutions for absorption are weak or where the government has no robust/big agenda for transformation. Governments exist to save lives, not to save money. We can debate and differ on this— (by the way, I know when/how it is appropriate to “save” as I built Nigeria’s foreign reserves from $10 billion I inherited to all time $63 billion, and even after paying $12 billion to pay-off Nigeria’s external debt and going through unprecedented global financial crisis, I still left behind about $45 billion— Go and verify!).

Funny, in the rabid frenzy to grab every straw, they cut a clip during our governorship debate where I was stating vital statistics and they claimed that I was “praising” Peter Obi then while committing a crime now by “criticising” him. Hahahaha! Well, it is true that I said during the debate that, according to National Bureau of Statistics, poverty in Anambra actually grew (from less than 25% in 2005) to about 53% under Peter Obi in 2010/2011 but fell under Willie Obiano to 14.78% in 2020. Yes, poverty more than doubled under Peter Obi and more than 50% of Ndi Anambra were in poverty under him. Go and verify! I am Governor, and sitting on privileged information which I will not want to use against a political opponent. But on matters of facts, I will always state same as is. As the saying goes, you can fool some of the people some of the time but never all the people all the time. Enough said for now!

Where do we go from here? I listened to my friend Gov El-Rufai on TV explaining why the northern governors decided that power should shift to the South. According to him, they asked themselves what would their founding fathers—Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa or Aminu Kano have done in the circumstance. Today, I ask my people, Ndigbo: do we ask what Azikiwe or M.I. Okpara or Akanu Ibiam would do in the present circumstance? I worry that Ndigbo as Nigeria’s foremost itinerant tribe and with the greatest stake in the Nigerian project does not yet have a strategy to engage Nigeria—politically! Every four years, we resurface with emotive Nzogbu Nzogbu political dance (“it is our turn dance” but without organization or strategy) and fizzle out afterwards while others work 24/7 strategizing and organizing.

Let’s be clear: Peter Obi knows that he can’t and won’t win. He knows the game he is playing, and we know too; and he knows that we know. The game he is playing is the main reason he didn’t return to APGA. The brutal truth (and some will say, God forbid) is that there are two persons/parties seriously contesting for president: the rest is exciting drama! That many Americans may not like the fact that Joe Biden (79 years) and Donald Trump (76 years) are two frontrunners for president in their parties does not remove the fact that if both of them emerge as candidates, definitely one of them will be president in 2024.

As my brother, I wish him well and even pray for him. I told him during his courtesy call that my prayer is that himself or Prof Umeadi of APGA would win, why not? That is from my heart, but I also told him that my head and facts on the ground led me to know that it’s probability is next to zero (what I cannot say before you, I won’t say behind you). So I already told him my opinion. Indeed, there is no credible pathway for him near the first two positions, and if care is not taken, he won’t even near the third position. Analysts tell him you don’t need “structure” to win. Fantasy! Of course, LP won governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun on social media and via phantom polls, while getting barely 2,000 votes on ground. Creating a credible third force for presidential election in Nigeria requires a totally different strategy and extreme hard work.

Of course, Peter Obi will get some votes, and may probably win in Anambra state— as “home boy”. But Anambra is not Nigeria. If he likes, I can even campaign for him but that won’t change much. From internal state by state polling available to me, he was on course to get 25% in 5 states as at August this year. The latest polling shows that it is down to four states, and declining. Not even in Lagos state (supposed headquarters of urban youths) where Labour Party could not find candidates to contest for House of Reps or Senate. The polls also show that he is taking votes away mostly from PDP. Indeed, if I were Asiwaju Tinubu, I would even give Peter Obi money as someone heading one of the departments of his campaign because Obi is making Tinubu’s pathway to victory much easier by indirectly pulling down PDP. It is what it is!

The current fleeting frenzy, if not checked, will cost Ndigbo dearly for years. The South East has the lowest number of votes of any region, but it is also the only region where the presidential race might be a 4-way race (it is a two-way race in the other 5 regions) thereby ensuring that our votes won’t count in the making of the next president of Nigeria. Afterwards, we would start complaining that we don’t get “what we deserve” or cry of marginalization. During the 2019 presidential election, the five South East States were united for PDP but contributed merely 1.6 million votes to PDP which was about the votes that Kano state gave to Buhari. The emotions might run to heavens but politics-power is about cold calculations, organization and building alliances for power. In a democracy, it is a game of numbers. So far, I don’t see any of these— and 2023 might again be a wasted opportunity for Ndigbo! What is our Plan B when Peter Obi loses in February 2023? Some people prefer that we should play the Ostrich while Peter Obi toys with the collective destiny of over 60 million Igbos. Yes, you pray that he wins, but what if he fails as he is certain to? The Bible says that my people perish for lack of knowledge. As the saying goes, only those who Plan can control the future. Ndigbo, wake up and smell the coffee!

What would Zik of Africa or M.I. Okpara do in this circumstance? Our founding fathers understood that in politics, you don’t get what you deserve but what you bargain/negotiate, and you negotiate with your organization and VOTES. Not social media militancy or bullying (where over 90% of actual voters are not on social media)! Our fathers built alliances with other major political parties in other regions (not with socio-cultural groups that don’t command any votes), and Ndigbo were in the reckoning in the first and second republics. After the elections, we will see how many votes any of the leaders of the socio-cultural groups will get for Peter Obi from their wards. Sometimes I even sense a conspiracy to nudge us on a path to nowhere thereby further pushing us into irrelevance, and I pray that I am wrong. Just my two cents!

It is not too late for Ohanaeze Ndigbo and progressive Igbo leaders to pre-emptively start charting a pragmatic future for Ndigbo in Nigeria after the elections. Armchair social media analysts can have the luxury of fantasizing with wild speculations. Right or wrong, they earn their pay and with no consequences. For us as leaders, the lives of tens of millions are at stake. We have a historic duty to act and being silent or politically correct is not an option. For starters, Ohanaeze should study the report of my committee (planning and strategy) in 2019. It may still be relevant today. Second, Ndigbo should seriously study the MoU signed at the Yar’Adua Centre in 2010. The leader of Igbo Political Association, Chief Simon Okeke and our members are still there. Thirdly and for me, Ndigbo should strategize and bargain especially with the TWO candidates likely to be president on at least four central issues:

A) Lasting peace and security in the South East, including the release and engagement with Nnamdi Kanu.
B)South East Economic transformation agenda and the FGN’s Marshall Plan for the South East as promised since the end of the Civil War (the post war ‘reconstruction’). We appreciate the Second Niger Bridge and recent contract for MTN to reconstruct the Onitsha-Enugu expressway. But the rail-lines to the five state capitals, speedy access to the sea, highways linking South East to the North and South South, addressing our existential threat as gully erosion capital of Africa, Free Trade and Export Processing Zones, etc.

C) Restructuring Agenda for Nigeria that devolves powers/resources to the subnational entities and in which it would no longer matter where the President comes from.
D) Levelling the playing field for the unleashing of the private sector and the full participation of Ndigbo in the economic and governance space; etc.
To conclude, let me once again wish my brother Peter Obi good luck. He should have fun and enjoy the fleeting frenzy of the moment. But he must moderate the desperation as exhibited by his social media mob. There is a limit to propaganda. A mob action often reflects the character of its leader. No one has a monopoly of social media violence, and no one should play God. Life won’t end by February/March 2023.

I hope that after February 2023, Peter Obi will return to APGA (the party that made him everything he is politically) as I offered him on 8th March, 2022 and begin the hard work, if he truly wants to be president of Nigeria. It won’t happen by desperately jumping from one party to another or by unleashing a social media mob on everyone who slightly disagrees with you. I decided to pen my views personally — again for the records. On this, I don’t mind being a one man minority. As history beckons, my conscience and sense of duty to my people dictate that I should never be silent. I will happily accept the judgment of history for standing by the truth!

Suspension: LP Youth Leaders Disagree Over Party’s Decision

 

The suspended Youth Leader of the Labour Party (LP) Anslem Eragbe and his predecessor Kennedy Ahanotu have clashed over circumstances surrounding Eragbe’s ouster.

While Eragbe insists that his suspension is illegal, claiming that the National Chairman Julius Abure acted unilaterally without duly following processes outlined in the party’s constitution, Ahanotu argued that the constitution empowered the Chairman to suspend any member.

“Let me say this quickly: we operate under the laws, and there are things we shouldn’t be seen doing. I do not accept my suspension because it is illegal. I am the National Youth Leader but notwithstanding because of the appeals everywhere, this matter is being looked into within the party system and the stakeholders, they have appealed for calm,” Eragbe said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday.

But Ahanotu, who was also on the show,  faulted Eragbe, maintaining that due process was followed in the suspension.

“The party has an internal democracy; there are issues that are not supposed to be pushed to the public, but for the sake of Nigerians, I will just make two comments out of what my friend (Eragbe) has said.

“The National Chairman is the leader of the party and the constitution of the Labour Party says that the National Chairman shall provide leadership and in providing leadership, discretions, and intuitions are part of his anchor missionaries that he will use because when he sees that something is going wrong he takes decisions,” he said.

He advised Eragbe to take his suspension in good faith and wait for the next directive from the leadership of the party.

Their comment is coming weeks after Eragbe – who is also its senatorial candidate in Edo North for the 2023 election – was suspended for six months over allegations of fraud, and insubordination, among others. In his stead, the LP appointed Ahanotu in an acting capacity.

2023: Labour Party Has More Promise Than APC, Says Daniel Bwala


 

A spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign, Daniel Bwala, on Monday, took a swipe at the Labour Party (LP), saying it has more promise than the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 elections.

“The Labour Party has more promise than APC in this election. It is a referendum,” Bwala said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday.

Bwala, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), also accused the ruling party of being disorganised, alleging that APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has ostracised Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, among others who contested the ticket with him at the party’s primary mid-2022.

“The PDP is the opposition party. In 2019, you saw how they came close. The point is when you add all their aspirants together with President Buhari, and yet they only were able to escape with two point something million votes, you can imagine now that they are fragmented.

“The candidate of the party (APC) is on a vendetta mission against those who ran against him in the primary. Where is Osinbajo today? Ostracised as if he’s an outcast. The referendum on APC is not on a standard set by others. It’s their own standard,” he noted.

Bwala resigned his membership of the APC in July in protest against the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the ruling party. He joined the PDP and was appointed Atiku’s campaign spokesman, alongside Dino Melaye, Kola Ologbondiyan, and Charles Aniagwu.

Among other things, LP’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi has pledged to tackle poverty, address the ravaging floods across the country, ensured sufficient food production, and reduce insecurity.

Obi was the running mate to the PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar. He, however, dumped the PDP early 2022 and subsequently emerged the LP presidential candidate whilst Atiku returned as PDP flag bearer for the 2023 elections.

2023: SERAP Asks Atiku, Tinubu, Obi, Others To Publish Sources Of Campaign Funding

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to presidential candidates ahead of the February 2023 presidential election, urging them to demonstrate leadership by directing their “campaign councils and political parties to regularly and widely publish the sources of their campaign funding.”

SERAP said: “We are concerned about the vulnerability of political parties to corruption. Disproportionally large donations seeking specific outcomes or preferential treatment can subvert the wider public interest.”

In the open letter dated 29 October, 2022 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Transparency would help to control inappropriate influence on political candidates, ensure fairness, equality, and accountability in Nigeria’s democracy.”

SERAP also said, “Transparency in campaign funding would improve public trust in Nigeria’s politicians and political parties, and show your commitment to prevent and combat corruption if elected.”


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According to SERAP, “If Nigerians know where the money is coming from, they can scrutinise the details, and hold to account the candidate and party that receive it.”

The letter, read in part: “SERAP would consider appropriate legal actions to hold you and your political party to account for any infractions of the requirements of campaign funding, as provided for by the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Electoral Act and international standards, even after the 2023 elections.”

“SERAP urges you to sign ‘transparency pacts’ that would mandate you to disclose the identities of donors and widely publish donations and contributions including on your party website and social media platforms.”

“Party corruption undermines the legitimacy of government, public trust and, ultimately, democracy.”

“Opacity in campaign funding can distort the electoral competition and lead to state capture by wealthy politicians and individuals, and encourage politicians to divert public resources for political purposes.”

“Transparency in campaign funding would ensure fair and open elections, and address concerns about undue influence by the more economically advantaged and privileged individuals, as well as prevent corruption of the electoral process.”

“Political parties provide the necessary link between voters and government. No other context is as important to democracy than elections to public office. Nigerians therefore must be informed about the sources of campaign funding of those who seek their votes.”

“SERAP also urges you to urgently invite the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor campaign funding and expenditures by your political party.”

“The UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party obligates states parties to enhance transparency in the funding of candidates for elected public office and, where applicable, the funding of political parties.”

“Similarly, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption which Nigeria has also ratified requires states parties to incorporate the principle of transparency into funding of political parties.”

“Sections 225 and 226 of the Nigerian Constitution and Sections 86, 87 and 90 the Electoral Act 2022 demonstrate the importance of transparency and accountability in party and campaign finances, and why political parties must be proactive in disclosing the sources of their donations and contributions, and how they spend the funds they receive.”

“Please let us know if you and your political party are willing to commit to the issues outlined in this letter.”

Presidential candidates for Nigeria’s general elections in 2023 include: Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP); Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of All Progressive Congress (APC); Mr Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP); Mr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP); and Professor Peter Umeadi of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

Others include: Prince Malik Ado-Ibrahim of Young Progressive Party (YPP); Omoyele Sowore of Africa Action Congress (AAC); Prince Adewole Adebayo of Social Democratic Party (SDP); Mr Kola Abiola of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP); Professor Christopher Imumulen of Accord Party (AP); Dumebi Kachikwu of African Democratic Congress (ADC); and Yusuf Mamman Dan Talle of Allied Peoples Movement (APM).

2023: Atiku Has Failed, Is Trying To Destroy Our Democracy – Kenneth Okonkwo

 

Celebrated Actor and Chieftain of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Kenneth Okonkwo is of the opinion that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (LP), Atiku Abubakar, is a failed politician whose only aim at this moment is to destabilize Nigeria’s democracy. 

Mr Okonkwo’s comment is predicated upon recent statements made by Alhaji Atiku during  an interactive session of the Arewa Townhall Policy Dialogue in Kaduna.

At the forum, Atiku told those present that at the moment, “what an average northerner needs is somebody from the north who understands other parts of Nigeria and who has been able to build bridges across the country.”

He went on to ask all northerners to vote for him in 2023, and not for a “Yoruba or a Igbo candidate,” a statement which has since stirred great debate regarding ethnic sentiments and the quest to save Nigeria from implosion.


2023: Peter Obi Has Already Won The Election, Says Kenneth Okonkwo


In his reaction, Mr Okonkwo who on Thursday was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, said Atiku should have by now be disqualified by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for going to the north to make such a “genocidal statement”.

“Atiku Abubakar went to the north and said northerners should support only the people from the north, not Yoruba, not Igbo, that is ethnic profiling.

“Atiku knows that he has failed, what he is trying to do now is to make sure he destroys our democracy after he has failed and he should be called to order.

“INEC should be implementing Section 97 of the Electoral Act now on Atiku because what he has done is a criminal offence (trying to profile ethnic and religious groups.

“I have always said he is very unfit to be president and not only that he is unfit, he is now a threat to our democracy,” the lawyer argued.

 

He said his party’s presidential candidate unlike some other contestants in 2023 presidential race does not play his politics with any ethnic bias.

Mr Okonkwo asserted that other major players in the 2023 election are already playing the ethnic card, but Obi remains the one candidate who who is nationalistic in his approach and advocates for a united Nigeria where true transformation is possible.

It Is Time To Take Back Our Country – Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed

 

Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Senator Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed says it is time for Nigerians to take back their country.

Senator Datti made the declaration on Monday during an interview after a town-hall meeting with key stakeholders including state party leadership, Coalition of Obi-Datti Support Groups, aspirants for the various elective positions ahead of next year’s general election in Minna the Niger state Capital.

Datti urged Nigerians to ignore politicians who use religion and tribal sentiments to instill hatred amongst the electorates.

He said the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have both ruled for 24 years combined with nothing to show other than insecurity, corruption and other challenges.


READ ALSO: The New Nigeria, Is One In Which Citizens Can Hold Leaders Accountable – Obi


“Fellow victims of insecurity, corruption; we, Nigerians are the ones who have been cheated and we did not cheat, these politicians in other parties are the ones who have cheated us.

“The end of these terrible issues have come.

“If the APC and the PDP are better after 24 years combined of governance why are we still witnessing the challenges we are facing? Nigerians, it’s time to take back our country,” the statesman stated.

The senator urged Nigerians to ignore politicians trying to use the old schemes ahead of 2023, he asked people to vote for credibility, competence, character, equity, fairness and justice to save Nigeria from disintegration.

“when politicians who have nothing to cover up their lies and lack of ideas to resolve the mileage of problems Nigeria is facing, they will look for anything to create confusion, religion and tribal comes handy hence Nigerians should not to fall for their antics”.

Senator Datti who said he was in Niger State as part of an assessment tour of the 18 Northern States, encouraged the electorates to ignore propaganda by presidential candidates of some political parties claiming that they have ‘structures’ to advance their 2023 cause.

According to him, Nigerians are the structure and will be the ones to decide who takes over from President Muhammadu Buhari next year.

He reminded the supporters that a united Nigeria where every citizen has equal stake is better than a divided one.

Earlier, Coalition of Support Groups for Obi-Datti in Niger State had a stakeholders’ meeting where plans to mobilize people to come out for the presidential campaigns was hatched.

Coordinator of the Coalition of Support Groups for Obi-Datti in the state, Habila Diko told journalists that there is a need to improve the sensitization of the people to see that Peter Obi emerges as President by 2023.

Another member of the Coalition, Daniel Atori told Channels Television that Nigerians need a candidate who can help lead the country out of its current challenges.

Atori added that other party candidates are the oligarchical who have held Nigeria captive, but that Nigerian youths and well meaning elders want to right the wrongs done by the past leaders.

Similarly, Inu Ibrahim, a member of the Labour Party in the State said the emergence of Peter Obi will put an end to the challenges faced by Nigerians.

In her opinion, the Labour Party is a grass-root political organization and as such, one can be sure that women and youths will vote for Obi-Datti massively, as to see the duo emerge  to emerge President and Vice, come 2023.

The New Nigeria, Is One In Which Citizens Can Hold Leaders Accountable – Obi

A file photo of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.

 

Flagbearer for the Labour Party in the 2023 presidential election, Mr. Peter Obi has said that the New Nigeria which is craved for, is one in which the people can hold their leaders accountable.

In a brief statement on Sunday, the former governor said both leaders and those who are being led must learn to accept constructive criticisms which would make each one better.

“The new Nigeria we seek, is one in which citizens can criticise and hold leaders accountable,” Obi opined on his official Facebook page.


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According to the LP presidential candidate, his latest comments come on the heels of recent debates involving some persons who questioned/constructively criticised his actions/pronouncements, and some of his supporters who censured the critics for speaking up.

Obi said he welcomes such constructive criticisms, adding that they will make his leadership better, adaptive and responsive.

He further noted that those who criticize him in the open only mean well for  him and for Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Mr Obi has denied reports claiming he got personal jets from some “eminent” Nigerians for his campaign.

Obi said the claims, which have gone viral on social media, are untrue.

“Recently, several social media reports have alluded that some eminent Nigerians have donated their personal jets for my use during my campaign,” the presidential flagbearer tweeted on Sunday.

“In as much as I appreciate the expression of such hopes, I have never received any of such offer.”

While praying that those “eminent Nigerians” are not distracted by such remarks, he asked God to bless them.

“I pray that those eminent Nigerians mentioned, are not unduly distracted by such social media utterances,” he added. “May God Almighty bless those eminent Nigerians always.”


2023: APC, LP Knock Atiku Over Anti-Yoruba, Igbo Comments

Supreme Court To Hear Atiku's Appeal August 20
A file photo of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

 

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has received backlash from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party over his anti-Yoruba and Igbo comments.

Atiku had on Saturday advised Northerners to vote for him in the 2023 election since he is from the northern region.

“What the average Northerner needs is somebody who’s from the North and also understands that part of the country and has been able to build bridges across the country.

“This is what the Northerner needs. It doesn’t need a Yoruba or Igbo candidate. I stand before you as a pan-Nigerian of northern origin,” the Adamawa-born former Vice-president said in a viral video.

READ ALSO: 2023: Northerners Need Someone From North, Not Igbo Or Yoruba – Atiku

His comments did not go down well as the presidential hopeful was bashed by many, including the ruling party and the Labour Party as well as many civil society organisations.

In his response on Sunday, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, said Atiku’s utterance is an attack on the country’s long-preserved national unity.

According to Morka, the PDP presidential candidate’s statement has shown his desperation to rule the country.

“What does Atiku think the average Southerner needs? Why is it about what the average Northerner needs, or even what the average Southerner may need? Why is it not about what Nigeria and Nigerians need? Nigerians need bold and visionary leadership anchored on a firm commitment to transcendental national unity, over and above ethnic or sectional obsessions,” he said.

“Atiku’s words ring loud of extreme and mindless desperation and such an extremely desperate man cannot and must not be entrusted with the most important job of President – a job whose core duty is that of leading, uniting and working in the best interest of all in an ethnoreligious, pluralistic society as Nigeria. Our country does not need this kind of highly inflammable rhetoric now or ever.’’

Morka expressed surprise that Atiku who claimed to be on a mission to unify the country could engage in acts that undermined national unity.

Similarly, the LP vice presidential candidate, Senator Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, also knocked Atiku over his comments that could jeopardise the country’s unity.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday, he described the former vice president as an ethnic bigot who cannot even unify his party.

“Atiku is an ethnic bigot. A big one at that.  Someone that cannot unify his party wants to unify Nigeria? Liar!!!” he tweeted.

2023: Rallies Alone Don’t Win Elections And Obi Won’t Win In South-West – Momodu

 

The chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday dismissed the chances of Mr Peter Obi winning the South-West Region in the presidential election. 

Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party and ex-Anambra State Governor, has been gathering momentum recently with many young Nigerians holding rallies to boost his chances in the 2023 general elections. Under the aegis of ‘Obi-dients’, the youths believe Obi will replicate his success as Anambra Governor should he emerge as Nigeria’s President next year.

But Momodu, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said rallies alone don’t win elections.

READ ALSO: PDP Officially Flags Off Presidential Campaign In Akwa Ibom

“Rallies alone will not win an election. I have no doubt that Peter Obi is a popular candidate but don’t forget the proximity of the South-East to Delta state. They are almost one and the same,” he said.

“We can make all the noise. You saw what happened in the last gubernatorial election in Osun state. There was no party outside those two (PDP and APC) that could make an appreciable impact.”

Momodu
A file photo of Mr Dele Momodu.

 

Momodu, who is also the PDP Director of Strategic Communications, said the 2023 presidential race is solely between his party and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He admitted that Lagos State is the traditional base of the APC and its presidential candidate, APC. He, however, noted that the votes will be split between the ruling party, the main opposition, and the Labour Party because of the Igbo population.

“By the time you come to Lagos, which is the traditional base of Asiwaju and of APC, you’re going to split into three because of the preponderance of the Igbo community,” he said.

“There would be Asiwaju, followed by Atiku, and followed by Obi because there is a large number of Igbo people there and youth who believe in Obi. And that’s the most cosmopolitan state in Nigeria.

“But the moment you start moving into Ogun State, Oyo State, where PDP is king today, then you go to Osun State.

“In Ogun state, we will compete favourably. It’s going to be between Asiwaju and Atiku; there is no way Obi is going to get 25 percent in Ogun State; he is not going to get it in Oyo State, he’s not going to get it in Osun State,” Momodu added.

Lagos Rally: Okupe Accuses APC Of Importing People From Other States

 

The Director-General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign, Doyin Okupe, has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of importing people from other states for its recently held rally in Lagos.

Both the LP and APC have been holding rallies to mobilise support for their presidential candidates – Peter Obi and Bola Tinubu respectively. On Sunday, the Chairman of the Lagos State Parks and Garages Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, convened a five million-man rally in support of Tinubu.

Mr Doyin Okupe appeared on Channels Television's Politics Today on June 17, 2022.
Mr Doyin Okupe appeared on Channels Television.

 

But Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Okupe said political opposition parties are trying to compete with his party.

“We have done a forensic of the tape of the rally in our laboratory. I personally can recognise about four or five people from my federal constituency, others can recognise people from Oyo, Osun, etc,” Okupe said.

“What you saw this morning was a south-west rally, not really a Lagos rally. If you give it as a Lagos rally, it is just a fair comparison with what happened in Festac.

“We did a forensic study of the tape — 60 percent and 70 percent of those who participated were members of an institution called NURTW.”

He also boasted that regardless of the rally held by the ruling party, it cannot be compared with that of the Labour Party.

“One of the greatest things that have happened in this dispensation is that a four-month-old party is now so much in leadership that parties that have existed for 20 years and more are playing a catch-up game and it is not being done very well,” he said.

“What you saw in Lagos today was nothing compared to any one of them (referring to the four locations), maybe at least it is at par with one of them.

“What APC has been able to do, having seen the LP movement, is still about a quarter of what we did,” Okupe added.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Saturday, February 25, 2023, as the commencement of the presidential and national assembly elections.

Campaigns for the 2023 general election officially commenced on 28 September in line with the timetable and schedule of activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).