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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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Atiku Sympathises with Tinubu over ‘Unfortunate’ Fall on Democracy Day Parade Ground




By Eric Elezuo

A former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has sympathized with President Bola Tinubu over his fall while trying to board a parade truck to inspect parade at the Eagle Square on Wednesday.

The former Vice President expressed his sympathies via his verified X account, describing the fall as ‘unfortunate incident’, and hoping that all is well with the President.

He wrote:

“I sincerely sympathize with President Bola Tinubu over this unfortunate incident as he was set to review the parade on Democracy Day. I hope that all is well with him -AA”

Recall that while Tinubu attempted to mount the open truck for inspection of parade, he slipped and fell. But he was quick to pick himself up again with the help of his aides, who came to his rescue.

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Democracy Day Parade: Tinubu Slips, Falls, Recovers




President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday slipped and fell while boarding the parade vehicle at the venue of the 2024 Democracy Day.

The President had approached the vehicle shortly after he arrived at the Eagles Square, Abuja venue of the programme.

Our correspondent observed that the President lost his footing momentarily as he was about to step into the vehicle.

However, despite the slip, the President quickly regained his balance and continued with the proceedings.

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Glo Maintains 18 Years Tradition, Sponsors Ojude Oba Festival Again




Digital solutions provider, Globacom, has announced that it will again be partnering with the organizers of the popular Ojude Oba festival this year in continuation of a tradition it started 18 years ago.

Speaking at the pre-event press conference held at Awujale’s Palace in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Globacom’s representative, Mr. Kazeem Kaka, restated the company’s commitment to uplifting Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

“Our sponsorship of festivals is aimed at identifying with the cultures and traditions of the Nigerian people, as an indigenous brand. Our involvement in the celebration of Ojude Oba festival is therefore geared towards promoting the unique tradition and custom of the Ijebu people”, Kaka said.

Globacom’s collaboration with the custodians of this festival, Mr. Kaka explained, underscores the company’s commitment to the rich heritage of the nation which is externalised through these festivals.

“It is our belief that our continued support for Ojude Oba will further strengthen the festival and entrench it as a world class carnival which will attract even more tourists from across the world. We are convinced that this partnership will further foster a symbiotic relationship with immense benefits for both Globacom and Ijebuland”, he added.

In his speech, the Chairman, Ojude Oba Planning Committee, Chief Olu Okuboyejo, paid tribute to Globacom for its massive support for the celebration which he noted serves as a reminder of the historical antecedents of the Ijebu people.

Themed: “Unity and Harmony in Ijebuland…The gift of Ojude Oba”, the 2024 edition of the festival is the 18th time that Globacom will be partnering with the Ojude Oba Planning Committee as the main sponsor of the festival.

Ojude Oba is celebrated annually two days after the Islamic  Eid El-Kabr festival and it’s a social gathering where all divergent issues affecting the lives of the Ijebu people are addressed. It is also a cornerstone for the development of the community socially, politically and economically.

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