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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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Fuel Subsidy Removal: FG, Labour Meeting Ends in Deadlock




Talks between the Federal Government and organised labour over the removal of fuel subsidy ended in a deadlock on Wednesday as they failed to reach a consensus following the hike in petrol pump prices to over N700 from N195 per litre by oil marketers.

The hours-long meeting which was held at the Presidential Villa was to, among other things, prevent a labour crisis following the recent increase in the petrol pump price occasioned by the discontinuance of petroleum subsidy.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited said it had adjusted the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit to reflect the market realities. The agency, however, failed to state the new prices of petrol.

However, several retails outlets sold the product between 600 and N800 in Lagos, Abuja , Ogun and some other states.

The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, pointed out that the hike in the cost of PMS would trigger galloping inflation in the country, stressing that some outlets in the South-East were currently dispensing the product at N1,200/l.

Ukadike stated, “Once NNPCL retail stations have adjusted their pumps to reflect the new price, there is nothing you can do about it; that is the new price. As I speak with you, all of them are now selling at the new prices. The situation is so bad, that somewhere in Ebonyi State our members informed us that it is now N1,200/litre.

“We thought the President would remove the subsidy through a seamless means because the source of this petrol is the NNPCL. They are the ones subsidising petroleum products, they are the people who use their revenue to subsidise this product.’’

The IPMAN spokesperson expressed worry over the rate of increase in inflation and hardship that would come as a result of the latest hike in petrol price.

“This hike in petrol price will definitely lead to galloping inflation and will worsen the hardship already being faced by the Nigerian masses. It is not something to cheer about. It came as a surprise and in the coming days, we will see the very harsh ripple effects,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Ukadike has called on the Federal Government and the NNPCL to give other marketers the opportunity to start importing petrol in order to create competition in the sector.

“The NNPCL is importing and has not given people the opportunity to join them in importing so as to see whether private sector operators can import the product cheaper or not. So there is no competition. In a deregulated regime, there must be competition, everyone with capacity should be allowed to import,” the IPMAN official stated.

When asked whether other marketers could resume imports since the government had finally deregulated petrol prices, Ukadike replied, “Marketers can import, but let me tell you some of the factors militating against this. The first is that there won’t be availability of dollars.

“You will source your dollar from the parallel market and if you are not careful in doing this, and you go into the importation of petroleum products, you might not ‘come out of it alive’ at the end of the day.

“So what we are saying is that those advantages that NNPCL has, should be shared with other major importers of petroleum products. If it is through crude buy-back, they should let us know so that independent players such as IPMAN members can come together and be able to use it in the buy-back model.’’

He added, “For independent marketers, the most important thing is that there should be availability of petroleum products, and the government should open up the space for importers and investors to come in.”

NNPCL, the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria for several years running, confirmed the hike in petrol price in a statement and a new pricing template released to marketers nationwide.

But the move has sparked a groundswell of anger across the nation with the Nigeria Labour Congress demanding an immediate reversal of the decision.

The union also said it would hold an emergency meeting on Friday on the fuel price increase which had triggered hoarding and scarcity across the country with attendant rise in transport fares, goods and services.

The fuel price hike by the oil firm is coming 72 hours after President Bola Tinubu declared in his inaugural address on Monday that the subsidy regime had ended.

To pacify the growing anger over the situation, the FG hastily summoned some labour leaders to a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday evening.

The meeting had in attendance the NLC President, Joe Ajaero and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Festus Osifo, former NLC President and immediate past governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, and others, however, ended in a deadlock as the labour and government teams failed to reach a consensus.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Joe Ajaero, said “As far as labour is concerned, we didn’t have a consensus in this meeting.”

He faulted the NNPCL over an official release published hours earlier reviewing the petrol pump price in its filling stations nationwide.

He said the move puts the labour unions in a difficult position on the negational table.

“That’s the principle of negotiation. You don’t put the partner, ask them to negotiate under gunpoint. The prayer of the NLC is that we go back to the status quo, negotiate, think of alternatives and all the effects and how to manage the effects this action is going to have on the people. If it is an action that must take off.

“The subsidy provision has been made up to the end of June. And before then, conscious people, labour management, and the government should be able to think of what will happen at the end of June. You don’t start it before the time,” Ajaero said.

The Punch

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Breaking: Founder, DAAR Communications, Raymond Dokpesi is Dead




By Eric Elezuo

The Founder of DAAR Communications, owners of the foremost radio and television stations in Nigeria, Raypower and African Independent Television (AIT), High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, is dead.

Reliable sources said the High Chief died while exercising on a treadmill on Monday afternoon.

The source said Dopkesi suffered a stroke some weeks ago.

Details soon…

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I Stand on Rule of Law, with Our Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, PDP, Says Dele Momodu




By Eric Elezuo

Frontline journalist and Director of Strategic Communications of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Council in the just concluded Presidential election, Chief Dele Momodu, had said that he remains a loyal member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and will always stand on the side of rule of law, and with the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Momodu made the revelations in a statement he signed himself, noting that the last election, which brought Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to power, was savagely manipulated by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He praised the steps Atiku, and the presidential candidate of the Labour candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, have taken in seeking legal redress.

The statement in details:


My position on the state of our country NIGERIA is simple and straightforward. I’m a loyal member of PDP who owes absolute allegiance to Nigeria and its Rule of Law. My political party PDP and others passionately hold the view that the last Presidential election was savagely manipulated by the ruling party APC and the cases are already in courts. Nothing will make me abandon my party on the altar of convenience and profit. Win or lose, I will continue to stand on this principle without any malice or prejudice against those who think otherwise. Democracy is a game of choice and I’m resolutely standing by our candidate, the former Vice President ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR (GCON) who has taken the honorable and peaceful step of going to court to seek redress. This is the only way we can deepen our hard earned Democracy. Sacrifice is not always convenient but painful.

I salute and respect The Wazirin Adamawa and others like my dear friend and Brother, former Governor Peter Obi, the Labor Party Presidential candidate, for promoting the best tenets of Democracy in Nigeria and I’m willing to encourage them rather than discourage their onerous quests…


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