By Nwafor Sunday
A chieftain of the Labour Party and founder of Centre for Value in Leadership, Prof. Patrick Okedinachi Utomi, has stated that the All Progressives Congress, APC, made a mistake by fielding an ailing person to be the flag bearer of the party come 2023 presidential election.
He said that the vice president Yemi Osinbajo should have been the best candidate for the party instead of Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Speaking on Channels television programme, The Politics Today, the economic expert noted that Tinubu is physically ailing, saying that Osinbajo would have been the best candidate for APC.
Giving reasons, Pat said Osinbajo is young, healthier, intelligent and vibrant unlike APC presidential candidate.
However, when asked to speak on the support of Afenifere to the Obi/Datti Movement, Prof Pat said he wasn’t surprised when the association announced its support for Obi/Datti, noting that Afenifere was built on moral principles, equity, fairness and inclusiveness.
He stated that Afenifere has moral authority and has alliance with PADEF, Middle Belt groups, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and has all it takes to make Obi/Datti win the forthcoming election.
Also, speaking on how Peter Obi would defeat Tinubu, Atiku and other presidential candidate, the erudite Prof opined: “People have had enough of the politics that does not work for them. Politics that does not favour them. They are tired of these politicians. They are fed up of the old political order. The young people are revolting against the order that does not work for them.
“Life is increasingly meaningless to them and that’s why they will vote for Peter Obi. Nigerians want something different. They want a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Speaking on the structures of his party, Utomi said: “The structures of these (APC, PDP and others) is stealing people’s money and using it to fund thugs.
“Labour Party is people oriented. These ongoing rallies are people sponsored/oriented. Labour Party did not contribute shishi to it.
“This tells you that Nigerians are tired of the old order.”
Why Afenifere supported Obi/Datti
The leader of the pan Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, has said that Peter Obi of LP is the man the association trust to restructure the country back to federalism on assumption of office in 2023.
He said Afenifere’s decision to support Peter Obi was because power is yet to shift to the South East.
His words: “We cannot continue to demand that the Igbo people remain in Nigeria, while we at the same time continue to brutally marginalize and exclude them from the power dynamic.
“Peter Obi is the person of Igbo extraction that Afenifere has decided to support and to back, he is the man we trust to restructure the country back to federalism on the assumption of office.
“We will not compromise this principle of justice, equity and inclusiveness because one of our own Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a frontline candidate.
“It is on this same principle, we condemn the PDP for sponsoring Atiku Abubakar, a Northern Fulani Muslim to succeed General Muhammadu Buhari another Fulani Muslim who will soon complete 8 years of uneventful and disastrous rule. One can imagine such a high degree of political insensitivity.
On our part, we are certainly not alien to sacrificing personal interests in the quest for a National coalition to put Nigeria on the proper pedestal.
“In this regard, the starting point is Southern solidarity for which we first enacted a handshake across the Niger, which had dovetailed to the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum. We enjoin the labour movement, students, youth organisations, women associations, and every institution whose foundation is built on fairness and justice to join hands in this task of enthroning a democratic government by supporting Peter Obi. If we are sincere and honest about keeping Nigeria together in peace, the slogan henceforth should be
‘To keep Nigeria one, everyone should be Obi/Datti compliant.’ In the final analysis, let it be said that we have no apologies but due courage of our conviction that Nigeria can only prosper in righteousness.
“For me, in the twilight of my sojourn on earth at 94, it is too late to derail me on the track of true federalism and National inclusiveness on which I have travelled for over 70 years of my life as one of the few surviving initial prophets, I prefer to ascend on a chariot of fire, fueled by justice and equity.”