In Ibadan, Oyo State, the leader of the Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo has reiterated his support for the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.
At the Ibadan campaign rally of Labour Party he urged the Yoruba to shun tribalism during voting in the 2023 presidential election.
“To those saying this one is Igbo, that one is Yoruba, the talk of president in Nigeria is not a talk of the Igbo or Yoruba but the talk of entire Nigeria,” he said.
He backed Obi because his ethnic group was yet to occupy the presidency since the return of democracy.
He reiterated his comments weeks ago when he said, “The South-West has produced a President and currently sits as Vice President; the South-South has spent a total of six years in the Presidency, but the Igbo people of the South-East have never tasted presidency in Nigeria, and now that the power is due back in the South, equity demands that it be ceded to the Igbo.
“We cannot continue to demand that the Igbo people remain in Nigeria while we, at the same time, continue to brutally marginalise and exclude them from the power dynamics.
“Peter Obi is the person of Igbo extraction that Afenifere has decided to support and 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 Peoples Democratic Party for sponsoring Atiku Abubakar, a Northern Fulani Muslim to succeed General Muhammadu Buhari another Fulani Muslim
Meanwhile, following the grounding of one of its campaign aircraft, the media office of the Labour Party’s Peter Obi and Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed Campaign has lamented what it thinks was a targeted move to sabotage its activities.
The office also complained reports that show that the collection of PVC is not going smoothly in some centers across the country.
It expressed surprise at the yet-to-be explained grounding of its campaign aircraft, adding action led to the inability of Labour Party and campaign officials, who had already gathered at Lagos and Abuja Airports, to attend the Ibadan rally.
Said the office: “All we know is what the leasing vendor told us to the effect that “Federal authorities won’t allow the Obidient Aircraft to file a flight plan, because of ongoing regulatory investigations.” We are not privy to the specific details or nature of the investigations.
“Mischievous political operatives had cheaply seized the opportunity to spread the unfounded rumours of an air crash which was promptly dispelled. The Ibadan rally was however a huge success with the Labour Party Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, making a stop at Iseyin Town before joining a multitude of organic supporters at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan.
On the collection of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) the Obi-Datti group warned against sabotaging the exercise
Reports reaching Obi-Datti Media Office.
It drew particular attention
to Lagos state where, in some identified areas, prospective voters wishing to collect their voter’s cards are being frustrated with all kinds of excuses disrupting the PVC collection.
The statement adds, “We are also aware of the large inducement to some personnel of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in Lagos to lure them into the dubious nefarious act.
“When we recently charged President Muhammedu Buhari and the INEC Chairman Prof Mahmoud Yakubu to walk their talk of their promise to conduct free and fair elections in 2023, we expect that they should be concerned about all pre-Election Day activities.
“Concentrating only on Election Day activities while the major rigging is taking place ahead of the election is counter productive and will defeat all the good intentions of the President and the commission.
“There should be no preferential treatment of any area or individuals as being reported in Lagos state and where such exist should discontinue immediately and affected commission officials seriously reprimanded.
“Obi-Datti Media Office expects the Commission even before now to have drummed it into the ears of their staff, the critical importance of this election to the survival of the country and the need to make their patriotic contributions at their various levels by religiously playing by the rules in all they do before , during and after the election.
“Also of curious interest to the Obi-Datti group is the large number of underaged voters registered by INEC officials and to demand that those Commission personnel involved in this should be identified, isolated and prosecuted as electoral offenders.
“Not to do that immediately by the commission is to look at the presence of a rat in your kitchen and expect to have all your items intact”
“Obi-Datti Media Office is privy to credible intelligence that some politicians and political parties aware that the BVAS voting arrangement may be difficult to manipulate have resolved to start the election maneuvering from the stage of PVC registration and collection.
“We therefore call on INEC and relevant security agencies to see any move to undermine the electoral process as a huge crime against the state and should be so treated.
“We finally urge all Nigerians particularly the Obidient family to remain resolute and ensure they resist any anti democratic moves against free, fair and credible elections in 2023. Taking back Nigeria is an inevitable d