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PDP, APC underestimated ‘Obidients’- Ex-Minister, Labaran Maku

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A former Minister of Information and National Orientation, Labaran Maku, on Tuesday admitted that many in the camps of the ruling All Progressives Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, underestimated the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, and his supporters known as the ‘Obidients’.

Maku, who is a PDP chieftain from Nasarawa State, further said that the two main parties underestimated Obi and his supporters because they thought he lacked political structure and would not be able to do much, but were surprised by the outcome of the 2023 presidential election, which showed that “the youths were not joking.”

The former minister said this while fielding questions on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme about the outcome of the 2023 elections.

According to him, “What happened in the presidential election as you could see was that there was this wave of young people, the ‘Obidients’ that we all took for granted and we were thinking Peter Obi was a joke. Where would he go?

“So, both PDP and the APC, we were thinking ‘This man does not have structure. He will not be able to do so much’.

“But the young people seized the initiative from the politicians. And for the first time – what we saw in Nasarawa, Edo, several other places, and in Delta State where the PDP vice presidential candidate comes from – we saw that young people were serious about what they were doing and they took advantage of social media to project a programme which has shaken the nation.”

While admitting that the party lost the presidential election in the state to the Labour Party, he claimed that the ruling All Progressives Congress win in the governorship poll was faulty.

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission, in the early hours of March 1, declared the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, president-elect after the 70-year-old polled 8,794,726 votes to win the 2023 presidential election.

However, Tinubu did not have it all rosy as the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Obi of the Labour Party, who emerged as a third force, shook the former governor, especially in Lagos State where Obi trounced Tinubu to win the presidential election in the state that many considered a strong hold of the APC leader.

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Peter Obi is unfit to lead Nigeria – Wole Soyinka Says

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Wole Soyinka, a Nobel laureate, is questioning Peter Obi’s ability to lead Nigeria.

Obi, who ran for president in 2023, is accused by Soyinka of promoting online hostility among his supporters, called ‘Obidients’.

In an interview with Noble Eyisi, a digital creator, Soyinka hopes Obi won’t run again in 2027 due to concerns about his divisive behavior and manipulation of facts.

He warns that leaders who encourage such actions may face consequences from the very groups they support, emphasizing the need for integrity and competence in leadership, especially in Nigeria’s diverse society.

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How I deliver south-west for Tinubu, Omisore reveals

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Iyiola Omisore, the former national secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has revealed that he played a key role in helping President Bola Tinubu secure the party’s presidential candidacy.

During the lead-up to the APC’s presidential primary in June 2022, the then-national chairman Abdullahi Adamu backed Ahmad Lawan, a former senate president. However, Tinubu ultimately emerged victorious in the primary.

In an interview on Channels Television, Omisore discussed his strategic efforts to outmaneuver others who aimed to promote candidates from their regions.

He highlighted the different political agendas within the party, noting his own goal of securing the presidency for the south-west.

“In politics, everyone has their own perspectives. We came from various geopolitical zones to the NWC at that time, representing different interests,” Omisore said. “As the senior-most member from the south-west, my mandate was to deliver the presidency for our region.”

He explained that individuals from other regions had similar mandates and acknowledged his success in achieving his objective. Omisore emphasized that the means by which he accomplished his goal were personal, attributing his success to divine support.

“Everyone tried their best, but if I outsmarted them, to God be the glory. My mission was to secure the south-west presidency, and we have achieved that,” he stated.

Omisore also remarked on the democratic nature of the APC’s primary process, underscoring the transparency of the election. “We voted. Everyone had a choice, and it was a transparent process,” he said. “When there is transparency, there is no noise; people only resort to court when they feel cheated.”

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I’ll keep contesting for presidency as long as I’m healthy – Atiku

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Atiku Abubakar, a former vice-president, has declared that he will continue to run for the Nigerian presidency as long as he remains in good health.

He made this statement during an interview with the Hausa service of the Voice of America in Abuja.

At 77 years old, Abubakar represented the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election. By the next presidential election in 2027, he will be 81.

“I will keep contesting as long as I am alive and healthy,” Abubakar affirmed.

Having run for the presidency six times, Abubakar has been an official presidential candidate three times—in 2007, 2019, and 2023.

He draws solace from the fact that former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln did not win on his first attempt.

Addressing the internal issues within the PDP, Abubakar emphasized the need for unity and alliances with other political groups to secure a win in the 2027 election.

“Even former US President Abraham Lincoln contested seven times before winning,” he noted. “However, given the current state of the PDP, we need strong support and collaboration with other parties to win.”

Recently, Abubakar revealed his discussions with Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 election, about a potential merger.

“To anyone thinking there might be a misunderstanding between Obi and me, rest assured that no issues will arise,” Abubakar stated. “We will support whoever is chosen to represent us in the forthcoming elections.”

He also reiterated his willingness to support a qualified candidate from the southeast if the parties agree on a merger.

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2027 : Ganduje speaks on Tinubu’s Re-Election Bid

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Ganduje, the national chair of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stated during a policy roundtable event titled “The Asiwaju Scorecard Series” that efforts are underway to fortify the party for President Bola Tinubu’s potential re-election bid in 2027.

The event, organized by the APC professionals forum, took place at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.

Ganduje emphasized the Tinubu administration’s commitment to addressing the country’s challenges and mentioned plans by the APC’s national working committee to restructure the party into a truly grassroots progressive entity.

He highlighted directives to state chapters to collaborate with governors and stakeholders to establish functional party offices in every political ward, ensuring representation for members nationwide.

Ganduje reiterated the party’s aspirations to set new democratic standards and sustain the APC government at all levels. Despite the absence of an imminent election, efforts are being made to rejuvenate the party, aiming to secure mandates for new governors and President Tinubu in 2027.

Additionally, a reconciliation committee has been formed by the national leadership to address grievances within the party.

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Mutual desperation to be president uniting Atiku, Obi – APC

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) claims that “mutual desperation” to become Nigeria’s president is bringing together Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) in 2023.

This statement follows a recent meeting between Abubakar and Obi.

Before the 2019 elections, both men ran on a joint PDP ticket.

On Tuesday, APC spokesperson Felix Morka issued a statement suggesting that it wouldn’t be surprising if Obi returned to the PDP, describing him as a “political wayfarer” surpassed only by Atiku’s reputation as a seasoned political drifter.

“A recent visit by Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 election, to his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has sparked speculations about a potential alliance or merger between the two ahead of the 2027 elections,” Morka said.

“What remains unclear is whether Obi will rejoin Atiku’s PDP, if Atiku will leave the PDP for Obi’s Labour Party, or if both will abandon their parties entirely to join Professor Pat Utomi’s mega party.

“Atiku and Obi are driven by a mutual desperation to become Nigeria’s president and a clear disdain for President Bola Tinubu’s dedicated efforts to transform the nation.

“Their continuous search for convenient party platforms to support their presidential ambitions reveals the self-serving and opportunistic nature of their goals.

“Leaders who lack the commitment to develop or sustain their own parties, and who abandon ship at the first sign of internal conflict, cannot be trusted by Nigerians to address the serious and complex national political and economic issues facing our country.”

Morka concluded by stating that President Bola Tinubu possesses the qualities necessary to lead Nigeria towards stable growth and development.

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Atiku speaks on supporting Peter Obi for 2027 Presidency

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Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has been engaging Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 election, about a potential merger.

Atiku, who was the presidential candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, lost to Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In a BBC Hausa interview on Friday, Atiku stated he would support any candidate chosen to represent the PDP in 2027, even if the candidate is from the southeast.

He also clarified he has no intention of retiring from politics soon.

“To anyone thinking there might be a rift between Obi and me, I assure you, there will be no issues,” he said. “We will support whoever is chosen to represent us in the forthcoming elections. I have previously stated that if our parties merge and agree on a qualified candidate from the southeast, we will support it.

“We are currently meeting and making arrangements to unify the party and advance its prospects. Anyone who thinks we will remain silent about the dishonesty and injustice happening in Nigeria is mistaken; I am still very active in politics.”

When asked if he would run in the next election, Atiku said, “For now, let’s wait until 2027 to see if I will contest.” He emphasized their commitment to championing the return and improvement of democracy, ensuring it does not deteriorate.

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