2023 :Why  Obasanjo, Integrity Group,   Endorsed Obi, LP, Presidential Candidate

By Suleiman Umaru                                

The battle for the 2023 general elections, which will kick-start with the Presidential and National Assembly Elections on February 25, appears to have taken a new dimension. This is because former President Olsegun Obasanjo   has endorsed his preferred Candidate for 2023 general elections’’.

He was said to have thrown his weight on Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state governor and the Labour Party, LP, Presidential Candidate.  Aswaju Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and Presidential Candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, and Atiku Abubakar, who had served as  Vice  President in his eight years rule and the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, had approached him at  different times for support but he was said to have refused to commit himself to anyone of them.


Former President Obasanjo

 Akin Osuntokun, who is now  the Director General of the LP Presidential  Campaign Organisation following the resignation of Doyin Okupe,  whom a Federal High Court in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  on Decembr  19, 2022,  had found guilty  of violating  the money Laundry Act.

 The Court had found him to have collected N240 million from  retired Colonel Sambo Dsuki, a former National Security Adviser, NSA, to former President Goodluck Jonathan, which he had said was used to open a median office form the Administration  to launder his image and pay the staff running the office on a daily basis.

The LP, Presidential Campaign Director General may have cleared all doubts on who the former Nigerian is supporting when he appeared on Cannels Television recently.  Asked if Obasanjo, a former Nigerian President is fully supporting the Obi’s Cmpaign, to which he responded with an emphatic yes.

Many believe that that the father Nigerian President, described as ‘’ a father figure’’ by Osuntokun and whom President Muhammadu Buhari, had described in one of his birthday messages to him  as ‘’my boss’’, may have suggested the the name of immediate zonal coordinator of the party Campaign in the south west  and who had serve as  former political Adviser of  President Jonathan  and also as a   zonal  coordinator  of    the former President   Campaign in 2011 in the region,  to replace Okupe  because he is ‘’qualified  and competent for the job to take the party to victory’’.

With his exit from the PDP, he may have sent a message to Senator Iyorchia Ayu, the PDP, National Chairman, who has been at loggerheads with Nyensom Wike, Okezie Ikpeazu, Samuel Ortom, Seyi Makinde  and Ieanyi Ugwuanyi, the five PDP, governors from Rivers, Abia, Benue, Oyo and Enugu states respectively and Atiku, the party Presidential Candidate that they should no longer count on his support  for the 2023, general electionsas he has transferred his loyalty to LP.

He had said that he was forced to decamp to the LP, because ‘’the party Capaign Organisation was confused for the party hierachy’’.  He had told those that cares to listen that ‘’joing the Obi Campaign is a higher national priority than any other aspirations’’.

While Osuntokun, the new Director General of LP, Presidential Campaign Organisation, had opened up on Former President Obasanjo’s endorsed Presidential Candidate for the 2023, general elections, There are indications that the G5, dubbed Integrity, will endorse their Preferred Candidate  on January 5, 2023, baring  any unforeseen circumstance.  

  This may have informed why Wike, the governor of Rivers state had a member of  the G5, had said that he  will  make known his Presidential Candidate  in January 2o23.  He had said that he will also Campaign for his adopted Candidate nationwide. He was emphatic.’’I will Campaign to the people of Rivers state whom they will vote for’’. 

He may have sent a message to Senator Ayu and Atiku, the PDP, Presidential Candidate that the battle line had been drawn when he said ‘’not only will tell the people of the state who to vote for among the Presidential Candidates of the 18 registered Political Parties by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu led Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC but I will move from state to state with him   for the Campaigns and tell Nigerians why they should vote for the person.

 A close source to the G5, told The Value News that decision of the Integrity  Group may not  be different from Obasanj, Afenifere , the Yoruba socio-political Organisation , AREWA Consultative Forum, ACF and Sheikh Ahmad  Gumi, who had not hidden his support for the Bandits Group, operating in the north, and describing them as ‘’our people’’, position

Recall that former President Obasanjo, had met with the G5 governors, dubbed Integrity Group and his Preferred Presidential Candidate, Obi, the south east born politician last August in London, United Kingdom, UK, last August, where they were said to have discussed for several hours on the state of the nation and the way out.The former President was aid to have advised the G5, to support Obi, the LP, Presidential Candidate to move Nigeria forward.

Ortom : Governor Of Benue State

As a prelude to the Octogenarian Advice to the G5, Ortom, the Benue  state governor, who had served as minister of state, Industry, Trade and Investment, during Jonathan’s Administration,  has declared his support  for Obi,  the LP Candidate, for the 2023, general elections.

The Benue governor  who may have corroborated the views of Sheikh Gumi, had said that  the former Anambra state governor  is ‘’the best  person  among the 18 Presidential Candidates jostling to take over from the Katsina state  born Nigerian President after the 2023, general elections to solve the nation’s socio-economic  problems’’.

He may have endorsed the LP Candidate because of his care for the suffering masses.  He had ‘’praised the LP Candidate for visiting the Camps of the Internally Displaced People, IDPs to celebrate the Christmas with them’’.

 He noted that ’’several Presidential  Candidates  have come to the state  to Campaign but none  of them  have chosen  to visit  those IDP Camps and look at their plight  to see how they are doing  and give them hope  that when they win , they will bring  them  succor, and help’’ .

Hear him him: For Obi  to have chosen  to visit  the IDP Camps  on a Christmas day  that he should be  celebrating with  his family , for me  as a Christian , I say , God will bless you and your  aspirations.

‘’My prayer is that God will bless your aspirations to be the next Nigerian President  after the 2023, general elections to take over from Buhari’’.  He opined that he has seen the ‘’capacity, faith and hope and have seen someone who can bring the required, equity, Justice and fairness that he has been pursuing since he  became governor  of Benue state in 2015.

Unlike Governor Wike of Rivers state , who had said that he will Campaign for his Preferred Candidate  once  he makes it public in  January 2023, Ortom, may have played  safe as he had told Obi , ‘’ if I were not  in the PDP,  I would have been following  you  all over  the place  to canvass  and vote for you’’.  ‘’But because I’m in the PDP, I’m  telling  Nigerians  that  this man,  referring to  Obi, the LP, Candidate,  can help deliver  this country  from  its present socio-economic and security challenges’’, he had aid.

According to him, electing Buhari of the ruling APC, as the  Nigerian President ,in 2015,  and Whom Bishop Mathew Kukkah, of the Caholic Diocese of Sokoto, had said had  done well in the provision of Infratructural facilities in the country  was a big disappointment to Nigerians considering ‘’the high level of insecurity  and biting hardship in the country’’.

Political Observers believe that Governor Ortom has set the stage for other members of the G5, to make their declaration endorsing Obi of the LP, in January 2023.

 Tinubu , the aAPC , Presidential Candidate  and Atiku, his Counterpart in  in the PDP,  who had thought that they have penetrated the ranks of the G5, may have  seen that it is an impregnable  Group that the duo may have been forced to go back to the drawing board to restrategise on winning the 2023, Presidential elections without them.

 Peter Okoye, popular. Mr. P  of the PSquare fame,  had said  that due to the popularity of Obi, among the Nigerian masses,  some cabals  want  the LP Presidential Candidate for the 2023, general elections  ‘’to withdraw from the race ,because  he is a threat  to years  of their  selfish subjugation  of the Nigerian people’’. He had had said   that ‘’the 2023  general elections  is no longer about Obi,  but about  the millions  of frustrated Nigerians  especially the youths  who want  to take  their anger  to the ballot box’’.

Ahead of the 2023, general elections, Usman Mohammed, a Chieftain of the APC, and Managing Director, of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, had said most Political Parties, across the country and their Presidential Candidates do not seem’’ to understand the nation’s power sector’’. He was said to have described as a mirage  ‘’ the plan by some of the Presidential Candidates to solve the nation’s power sector in four years and move the country’s power generation from a 4,000 mw to 25,000mw

. He may have alluded to Atiku of the Opposition PDP and Obi, the LP Candidate who had promised to increase the country’s power generation capacity to 25,000mw if elected President in 2023.

He may have spoken the mind of Buhari, when he said that ‘’the power industry is a slow one and takes time for the investments to manifest’’. Appealing to the next Nigerian President   to resist vested interests, the NTC, Managing Director advised him not to expect money from the power sector to make progress.

In a related development, Nasir El-Rufai, a former minister of FCT and now governor of Kaduna state which is under the siege of the Bandits Group,   has advised the politicians to take religion and ethnicity out of politics, urging Nigerians’’ to punish politicians who use it as tool to power’’. This bad news to the two mega parties, APC and the PDP.

He was said to  have  appealed  to the Royal Fathers  and Scholars across the country   to communicate to the people  in order to ensure  that  the 2023 general elections and future elections in the country  do not ‘’center on religion  but around what  ‘’the person  can do to improve  the lot of the ordinary people’’.

President Muhammadu Buhari

Aware that the International Community will hold responsible if there is any problem in the conduct of the 2023, general elections may have informed why the Nigerian President had assured President Joe Biden of the North American country of the United States, US and other world Leaders, of leaving a Legacy of free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria and a stable West African sub region.

  He may have taken advantage of the recent gathering of Economic of West African States, ECOWAS, parliamentarians in Abuja, to reiterate of his commitment ‘’to conduct a free, fair and transparent elections and smooth transitions in Nigeria in 2023’’.

 ‘’This is one Legacy that I want my Administration to bequeath, not only to Nigeria but the ECOWAS Sub-region as a whole’’, he had aid. 

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