‘It is significant to observe that the Obidient movement, has today risen above religion, ethnicity…’
National Secretary of the Labour Party (LP) Clement Ojukwu on Wednesday announced a 1,234-member presidential campaign of the party with the presidential candidate of the party, Mr Peter Obi and his running mate, Dr Yusuff Ahmed-Datti, absent.
Ojukwu said the presidential campaign team would be led by AIG (retd) Muhammad Zalewa while he, Clement Ojukwu would serve as the General Secretary of the presidential campaign council.
He said the Council would have the Chairman of the Labour Party, Barr. Julius Abure chairing the Presidential advisory committee to the Council.
Director General of the Presidential Campaign of Peter Obi, Dr Doyin Okupe, would be the Director-General of the Presidential Campaign Council while Chief Oseluka Obazee is appointed the General Manager of the Council.
Addressing the media at the unveiling of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council (LPPCCON), Doyin Okupe said “the dramatic sequence of these events, our candidate’s entry into this political race has resulted in an explosion of excitement across the vastness of Nigeria, in the diaspora, and indeed the global community.”
The DG said, “the Obi movement has been lovingly and organically expressed in his overwhelming acceptance by the people of Nigeria, through the robust and endearing presentation of his record, personality, vision, policies and promise.”
He said “There is no doubt that this ascendancy of our Presidential Ticket, to prime position in the hearts and minds of the Nigerian people, has been fuelled by the patriotic zeal, vibrancy, creativity and shining example, in discipline, character and decency of the Obidient movement, which has today rapidly evolved into the biggest voluntary political movement in Nigeria’s history.
“In just about four months, this organic and massively structured movement, consisting of Nigerians from all walks of life, from varying backgrounds and circumstances of life, from the young and not so young, from professions, vocations and occupations of all variations, and from every region, nook and corner of the country, have set a record in political mobilisation, organisation and loyalty, not experienced in recent Nigerian History.
“So, it is significant to observe and also to underline, that the Obidient movement, has today risen above religion, ethnicity, political affiliation and all narrow sentiment, to become a truly national movement of Nigerians, prepared for full participation, in this universal mission of national reconstruction.
“The truth is that the errors of the past, have done painful incalculable damage, to the psyche of our people, the economy of our country, the peaceful existence and security of every citizen, and to the quality of our public services and our private lives.”
He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) has destroyed the nation economically and this is evidenced in the N11 trillion deficit 2023 budget.
“President Buhari has just presented the 2022/23 budget to the National assembly, and in that document, it can be seen that of the 20.5 trillion naira, totally budgeted, actual revenue available to fund the budget is 9.73 trillion naira, leaving a deficit of almost 11 trillion naira, with fuel subsidy alone, gulping 3.6 trillion naira, in the first six months of next year.
“In effect, this means that the present economic situation, as it affects the common people, is not likely to abate, and I say this not in exaggeration or to heighten fears, but in the vivid and responsible assessment of the stark reality.
“Today, as we commence the campaigns for the 2023 round of elections, the registered voter population figure has tripled, since 2019, and Over 60% of the nearly 100 million registered voters today, consists of the youth population.
Okupe warned that the Independent National Electoral Commission should ensure it lived above board and clear the air of an alleged agent deployed to truncate the Bimodal Voter Accreditation system (BVAS) I. A section of the country.
“To INEC we say, this is your biggest test in recent history, and you have no choice, but to act as a fair, impartial, fearless and patriotic umpire, in the coming elections.
“We have noted with extreme concern and worry, the revelations by the Congress of Political Parties (CUPP), as to how presumed agents of the ruling party have infiltrated and compromised the INEC voter registration portals in 18 states.
“We have also noted, painfully, the concerns expressed by various NGOs, about how the ruling party has smuggled card-carrying members of the party, into the INEC officials’ appointment process, setting them up as RECS, and other key operational personnel.
“We have also seen citizens in various parts of the country, recovering thousands of voter cards, dumped in drainages and refuse dumps. It is also instructive that these patriotic concerns have been largely ignored by the government of the day.
“What all these convey, is that efforts are already afoot to compromise INEC as a way of sabotaging the country’s democratic election process, and the will of the people, to freely choose the leaders they want, in a free, fair and credible election.
“What we are sure of, however, is that, in the fullness of time, no criminal manipulation will succeed in these elections, whether they be computer or electronically conceived or manually and martially enforced.
“It is our hope and expectation that INEC and its leadership will choose to write their name in gold, and give their conscience, a dose of good health, by doing what is right, noble and patriotic.
“We are watching and taking notes. We know, and we remind INEC, that the whole world too, is watching and taking notes.
“In view of the undercurrents we have highlighted above, we call on the international community, to express more than routine interest in this election of 2023.
“Nigeria occupies a most strategic place in our continental sub-region. With a population of over 200 million people, it cannot be overemphasised, that the peace, tranquillity, stability and political well-being of Nigeria, should be of great interest to the world community, he stated.