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Who’s Bullying Peter Obi?



By Eric Elezuo

On May 30, 2022, former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, emerged the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, after a surprised decamping from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he had already procured Nomination and Expression of Interest forms at the cost of N40 million to contest the presidential primaries of the party. He emerged at the Labour Party’s Convention and presidential primary held in Asaba, Delta State after the likes of Professor Pat Utomi and Joseph Faduri stepped down for him..

Citing ‘recent developments’ in the PDP for his decamping, Obi explained further in a letter, addressed to the PDP National Chairman, and which was conveyed to the Chairman of Agulu Ward 2. Anaocha LGA Anambra, effective Friday 20 May, 2022. Consequently, I am by this letter informing you of my withdrawal for the PDP Presidential Primaries.

He said, “It has been a great honour to contribute to nation-building efforts through our party. Unfortunately, recent developments within our party make it practically impossible to continue participating and making such constructive contributions.

“Our national challenges are deep-seated and require that we each make profound sacrifices towards rescuing our country. My commitment to rescuing Nigeria remains firm, even if the route differs.

“I wish to thank you personally for your graciousness and leadership. I wish you well and best of luck in the service of the country.”

In his defence of Obi’s resignation from the PDP, the Director-General of his Campaign Organisation, Dr Doyin Okupe, reiterated that Obi was not desperate to become the president of Nigeria but to offer solutions to problems bedevilling the country.

Okupe, who was Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan, had noted that “You will recall that consistently former Governor Peter Obi has repeatedly stated that he’s not desperate to be President,

“He is desperate to cause a change, to cause a redirection, to change the way the government of Nigeria is being run. It is for this reason and to offer solutions to the various problems of Nigeria.

“It was for these reasons that he entered into the race. According to what he said in his letter, various development in the PDP makes it virtually impossible for him to find the full expression of his desire on the platform of the PDP.

“This is not to say that all hopes are lost. I can say on his behalf that Nigerians must not give up, we must never give up.”

Mr Obi’s explanation for leaving the party notwithstanding, the PDP has revealed that the former governor did not leave on his own accord, but bullied out of the party by the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike. Explaining the wherewithal during a live television show, a spokesman of the party, Daniel Bwala said that before the party’s presidential primary in 2022, it was believed that “the presidency should be zoned to the South-East in the spirit of equity.”

He said: “While the party was planning for the primaries, there was this internal agitation or advocacy for the power to shift to the South and people felt it should shift to the South-east

“The conversation started growing, it started reverberating to a point where Atiku said if the party was inclined to zoning, he believed that it should be zoned to the South East or North East because these are the zones that have not benefited and that if it was zoned to the South East, he was not going to contest.”

He further said: “So during this time of advocacy and deliberation, Governor Wike ensured that the committee formed to deliberate on the structure of the party and the presidency zoning came out with the findings that support his ambition at the party’s chairmanship level.

“He was thinking that if the Chairman comes from the North it was natural the presidential candidate would come from the South. When it came to the presidential poll, he ensured that the outcome left the people’s poll because of the growing conversation that it should be zoned to the South-east when it was agreed that it would go to the South.

“When Obi saw that it was thrown open, he knew he couldn’t challenge gladiators in the party and so he left. Again Peter ought to have been the leader of the party in Anambra but he was frustrated by the command and control of Governor Wike. So that is the premise for saying that he frustrated the man out of the party.”

It is worthy of note that ever since, Obi has ever remained in the limelight as millions of Nigerians supported his desire to pursue his presidential elsewhere, and rooted for him. His followers tagged themselves Obidients, and labelled their cause a movement. From the pages of social media accounts, the group spread and grew tentacles, receiving goodwill from a large number of Nigerians, especially from the southeast, where Obi come from, who were mostly youths deserving a change from the old ways. However, as much as his popularity grew so did the bullying from opposition camps multiplied, especially from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) whose flag bearer was Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, from the southwest.

In June 2022, shortly after emerging the presidential candidate, it was alleged that he was being targeted for assassination by some Fulani terrorists. The information was revealed by kidnapped victims, who were released by their captors. The report alleged that some terrorists told their kidnapped victims who were freed recently that they have concluded plans to assassinate Obi over his decision to run for the presidency in 2023, saying Obi is a threat.

Following speculations that some Fulani Jihadist are plotting to assassinate Obi, Igbo youths under the aegis of the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) urged security agencies in the country to thwart the plot and arrest all those behind it in a statement signed by their President General, Goodluck Ibem, warning the Jihadist not take the peaceful nature of Igbo youths for weakness, and insisting that Obi’s ambition is his right.

“These criminal elements killing and kidnapping innocent people in the name of a jihad or whatever they call it should know that the time a strong man was born in a town that another strong man was also born in another town. Nobody should think that he has monopoly of violence. That we are peaceful does not mean that we are weak or senseless. 

“Mr Peter Obi as a bonafide citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and born in Nigeria has the Constitutional right to contest for any political office he deems fit and nobody can stop that,” the statement said.

In December 2022, it was also reported that an attacker armed with a knife attempted to attack Obi during a rally in Ibadan, Oyo State. The incidents sparked reactions from both Obidients and the critics of the Obi ambition.

As the election concluded with INEC declaring Tinubu as winner, it was also alleged that the Anambra State governor, Charles Chukwuma Soludo, who had openly condemned Obi’s presidential bid, was hatching a plan with the chieftains of the APC including the presidential candidate, Tinubu, to assassinate Obi. Soludo denied the allegation.

The governor’s reaction followed a message titled: “Hold Soludo Responsible If Anything Happens to Peter Obi,” which surfaced on the social media.

It read: “Yesterday, a Helicopter entered Awka by 1:30 a.m. and took Soludo to a secret meeting at Government House, Owerri. The agenda of the meeting is Peter Obi and how to stop him physically, politically, and otherwise.

“Soludo was given five million dollars in 100 dollar bills for the hatchet job and Soludo promised to eliminate Peter Obi.”

The statement did not sit well with Obi’s supporters who accused the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of harbouring hatred for another Igbo man.

Not long after, popular actor, Kanayo O Kanayo, made a surprised prediction on Obi, alleging that there are people making plans to arrest the former Anambra state governor.

He wrote via his Instagram handle that “Peter Gregory Obi will soon be arrested, Watch Out. The conspiracy is brewing, you want to bet?”

In the aftermath of the election, Obi filed a petition with the Presidential Election Petition Panel, seeking a nullification of Tinubu’s victory on grounds of irregularity, non-eligibility among many others. The APC Presidential Campaign Council called for Obi’s arrest for allegedly inciting violence. Obi was accused of making inflammatory statements following his loss at the 2023 presidential election.

Then there was the drama of leaked audio tape where Obi was allegedly appealing to Bishop David Oyedepo to help him source for votes on the eve of the presidential election, declaring that the election was a ‘religious war’. Obi however, said the audio tape was fake, blaming the APC for the campaign of calumny and inordinate bullying, and pressuring him to leave the country. In another development, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, toured America, where he accused Obi of treason. Earlier, the Department of State Service (DSS) has alleged that some politicians are calling for interim government in a veiled reference to Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Datti-Ahmed, who said on national television that swearing Tinubu in as president will mean death to democracy, saying that the president-elect did not fulfill the criteria for becoming president.

Obi in a statement, accused the APC and some government agencies, of trying to distract the country from the shortcomings recorded in this year’s elections, by casting aspersions on his person.

“The present attempts by the APC as a Party, and the APC Led-government through some government officials and agencies to divert our attention from our blatantly stolen mandate is unfortunate and sad,” Obi said.

“These have come and continued to manifest in different ways, such as the malicious accusation of the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, the circulation of a fake doctored audio call, and a pressure on me to leave the country.

“Let me reiterate that the audio call being circulated is fake, and at no time throughout the campaign and now did I ever say, think, or even imply that the 2023 election is, or was a religious war,” he said.

He called on Nigerians and the international community to urge the APC to stop their attacks, adding that his focus and commitment is to lawfully and peacefully retrieve the people’s mandate.

But there were more surprises awaiting Peter Obi. On Good Friday, Obi was detained at the Heathrow Airport, London by immigration officials just as he arrived from Nigeria over issues of identity. He was questioned in plot the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, described as a move by political enemies.

Ohanaeze said any plot to embarrass and pull down Peter Obi, because he had decided to legally pursue the mandate believed to have been given him by Nigerians, will continue to fail.

It was revealed that the sole aim of faking Obi’s identity was to use his name to commit crime in London and other parts of the world so as to get him implicated in dubious and criminal activities and rope him into any number of offences to get him out of the political space by Ohanaeze.

Narrating via her Facebook account, Obi’s long time ally, Prof. Okunna, in the piece she titled: “What Peter Obi is going through: does any human being deserve this type of shocking intimidation and emotional torture?” narrates:

How it happened at Heathrow

“Today 11/04/2023, I was shocked beyond words to hear from His Excellency, Mr. Peter what he went through when his British Airways plane landed at Heathrow Airport, London, in the early morning of Friday 07/04/2023.

“He was talking to me at the official opening of the Specialist Hospital of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Sisters, Nkpor.

“He had arrived at the event after flying in from London, his presence heralded by the usual ‘ear-splitting’ ovation that accompanies him everywhere nowadays.

“As the ‘Most Outstanding Pillar of the Foundation/Hospital’, the Reverend Sisters were full of expectations that he would attend; so were we (members of the Governing Board of the IHM Sisters Healthcare System), although there was also anxiety about whether he would be able to make it, being outside Nigeria.

“I actually had no idea he had travelled out of the country, until the ovation over his presence in a London Church went viral on the Internet.

“I would never have imagined he would be able to go anywhere so soon after his energy-sapping marathon visits on 06/04 to Paul University, Regina Caeli Hospital and other health facilities, where he went about touching lives in his usual quiet philanthropic manner.

“His whirlwind activities that day in Anambra State and beyond were another eloquent testimony to Peter Obi’s incredible stamina and multi-tasking capacity.

“To be able to fly out of the country that night, made this capacity even more incredible.

“Landing in London, Peter Obi joined the usual queue to pass through Immigration, and that was when his ordeal began.

“He was stopped and questioned for a long time and subsequently handed a detention note and told to wait for further interrogation and investigation. This was terribly unusual for a man who had lived honourably in the UK for a long time.

“In the face of this harassment, some well-meaning Nigerians, knowing who he is, raised their voices in protest, demanding to know why he was being treated that way.

“Then came the shocking revelation by the Immigration Officer who told him that his identity ‘WAS DUPLICATED’. This revelation has definitely set off alarm bells.

“For people who are knowledgeable about such matters, this is a very dangerous development because the implication is that someone is impersonating Peter Obi.

“And that someone could implicate Obi in all manner of dubious and even criminal activities, and rope him into any number of offences; he could get Obi framed for one criminal act or another.

“The frightening scenario of what can happen is unimaginable!

“This is the height of it all for a man who has been under sundry intimidation and emotional torture: bugging of his phone and those of his wife and children; keeping him constantly under surveillance; calling him names; putting him under severe pressure to leave (run away from) the country; wrongly accusing him of negative things he knows absolutely nothing about etc.

“As he was telling me his ‘Heathrow tale of woe’ at Nkpor today, I could see a man who was in severe pain and and under unbearable stress, who many would expect to be at the point of despair.

“But, as he confirmed, he is ready to suffer this pain and is as determined as ever to pursue the path which he has chosen to enable him arrive at the destination which well-meaning people in Nigeria and far far beyond are expecting him to arrive at.

“This is the destination where Nigerians will be able to live in a secure and productive country which they (particularly the younger generations) will be proud to call their own.

“Ahead, Ahead!

“I suppose he told me all this confidentially. My very sincere apologies, Your Excellency, for ‘breaking’ this confidentiality, but history beckons and I cannot keep quiet,” Prof. Okunna was quoted as saying.

In its reaction, Ohanaeze Ndigbo through the National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alex Chidozie Ogbonnia, said: “It is very unfortunate for those who want to rope in Obi and  embarrass him. However, it was good it happened. After this, there will not be such a thing again anywhere in the world as they have been exposed.

“They have exposed their plots to the whole world. But whoever is playing such is wasting time and energy.

“It is very clear to the world that the man is a man of integrity and law abiding, who had been pursuing his mandate legally. So, any plot to rope him I and embarrass him will continue to fail. They are being exposed.

“It is unfortunate that some Nigerians still want us back wards. But we will resist it, Nigerians will resist it, the youths will resist it because they want a future.”

The unanswered question remains, who’s bullying Peter Obi? Would he survive the bullies and come out victorious? Time will tell.

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Tinubu Presents N27.5tr 2024 budget to NASS, Seeks Speedy Passage




President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, presented the Appropriation Bill of the Federal government for the year 2024 tagged ‘Budget of Renewed Hope’ to a joint session of the National Assembly.

This is the president’s first budget presentation to the National Assembly since assuming office on May 29.

The President arrived at the National Assembly for the presentation of the 2024 budget at about 11:09 am accompanied some ministers and aides. and senior officials.

He was led into the chamber of the House of Representatives for the presentation of the N27.5trillion Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly which began after the rendition of the National Anthem and opening prayers.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC)on Monday approved N27.5 trillion as the 2024 budget estimate.

It will be recalled that Tinubu had about three weeks ago forwarded the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper ( FSP), proposing an expenditure of N26.1 for the 2024 fiscal year.

After two weeks of deliberations and interface with heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies on the revenue and expenditure projections, the Senate through its Committee on Finance approved the MTEF.

It specifically approved the N26.1 trillion proposed as 2024 budget and other parameters proposed by Tinubu.

It also approved new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, while pegging the oil price benchmark for 2024 at $73.96 and oil production at 1.78 million barrels per day.

Other parameters approved are GDP growth rate of 3.76 per cent, the inflation rate of 21.40 per cent, a suggested benchmark exchange rate of N700 to $1 and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.

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Emefiele Yet to Meet Bail Conditions, May Stay in Prison Till 2024




A Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, has adjourned an alleged procurement fraud case involving a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

The court adjourned the trial of the former apex bank chief to January 18 and 19, 2024 for continuation of trial.

Emefiele is standing trial on a six count amended charge on alleged procurement of vehicles to the tune of N1.6billion.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He was granted bail on November 17, 2023 to the tune of N300million and two sureties, but remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre, pending when he meets his bail conditions.

At the resumed hearing, the prosecution witness, who is a top official of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) told the court that the Emefiele is not the owner or a shareholder of the April1616 Investment Limited awarded N1.2 billion vehicle supply contract by CBN under his watch.

He was led in evidence by counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo , while tendering several documents on how the company was incorporated on August 1, 2016.

He further read out the names of the shareholders of the company as Aminu Yaro, Maryam Abdullahi and Saadatu Yaro as joint owners of the entity.

Emefiele’s lawyer, Mathew Burkaa, who declined to speak on camera, said Emefiele is yet to meet his bail conditions.

Counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Federal government declined to speak on the day’s proceedings.

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One Year in Office: Adeleke Gives Scorecard, Pledges Continuous Democracy Dividends




By Eric Elezuo

The Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, has felicitated with the people of Osun State as his administration marks one in office.

In the statement he personally signed, the governor informed that the last one year has been characterized by reconstruction and reconfiguration of various of the state’s economy, adding that the administration has been able to navigate through “numerous land mines deliberately set by the past administration to frustrate our administration” to provide appropriate leadership and benefits for the people of Osun state.

Adeleke further intimated that he is on a working visit to Europe and Asia, where he hope to attract investment opportunities foe the state.

The governor highlighted stability of the civil service, improved intercity road networks, surgical and medical outreaches as well as the #Imole100BInfrastructure as some of the laudable achievements of his administration in the last one year.

Below is the detailed statement:

It is one year ago today since our administration came into office. It has been a year of reconstruction and reconfiguration across the various sectors of the osun economy.

Due to the current economic situation in the state and our country in general, I have directed that this anniversary be conducted in a low key atmosphere. I remain committed to prudent use of our scarce resources on more pressing issues.

I am currently on a working vacation to Europe and Asia where I am advancing partnership discussion with potential investors needed to improve our state economy.

It is important to recognize the enormous challenges and obstacles we have overcome and the progress we have made thus far. Despite the numerous land mines deliberately set by the past administration to frustrate our administration, we have developed a robust mechanism to successfully navigate and overcome these challenges.

We have stabilized the state civil service with continuous commitment to the welfare of the state civil servants and pensioners, this we will continue to focus on in fulfillment of a critical part of our 5 point agenda.

We have massively improved intracity road network across the state by constructing over 90KM of roads, completion of the Phase II of Òṣogbo-Ikirun road and ongoing construction of Osun ring road (Ona Baba Ona) both abandoned by the past administration.

We have embarked on surgical and medical outreach that benefited over 50,000 vulnerable citizens. Also, we have completely rehabilitated over 31 schools across the state.

Recently, I launched the #Imole100BInfrastructure that focuses on education, health, road construction and water. These are critical sectors that we have identified to urgently revamp for the sustainability and development of the state economy.

I am happy to share that as we move forward, the positive results of our collaborative efforts for the past one year are expected to bear fruit. With projected increase in our internally generated revenue and prudent application of public funds, our infrastructure plan will be fully funded without seeking external loan.

Today, I re-affirm my commitment to serving with the fear of God and focused on delivering on my 5 point agenda as promised during the campaign season.

I thank you for your continuous support and prayer as you continue to support our efforts to develop our dear state.

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