Can the Labour Party become that much-awaited Third Force?


By Tai Emeka Obasi

They have a candidate who appears to have miraculously, but actually very diligently, gotten the approval of a very impressive number of Nigerians of all ages, religion, zones and tribes.

The Labour Party have a relatively very young, energetic, physically and mentally healthy candidate, whose obsession revolves around reviving the sinking economy of an otherwise great nation.

HE Peter Gregory Obi has within just two months of a consultative tour of the entire country, spoken in the practical language that ushered genuine hope. His records as an excellent performer in charge of his dear state for eight years as governor are reference points that assure all his promises are not mere political talks.

Above all, the man we also call Okwute is one of the very few Nigerian billionaires, who never depended on any Federal or State government contract, supplies, consultancy or subvention to make his money. While many other rich men, particularly those who later join politics, depended on usually hyper-inflated government contracts and most times unexecuted-but-duly-paid-for contracts to amass their ‘fortunes’, Okwute sweated for every Kobo he made. You can now understand why he cringes when people throw money about, knowing exactly how he made his.

He never worked one day for government before he became governor. He made his money as a trader. While on it, he always cared for society. He would always go the extra mile to find the source of any good he retailed, got reasonable discounts and then shared this advantage to consumers by selling the cheapest. While his competitors maximised profit, he depended on a turnover by making his goods more accessible to consumers at the cheapest prices.

He’s astonishingly disciplined, astutely prudent and incredibly resourceful and forever thinks of tomorrow. When he became Anambra State governor, he employed all his trading acumen to not only score excellently in all departments of human development but also stretched his incredible prudent instincts to save and handed over N75 billion to his successor. It’s in his blood to maximise resources, even under severe recession, to improve humanity.

The Labour Party couldn’t have wished for anyone with better credentials as a candidate in a presidential election in Nigeria of present times.

The big question is – are the Labour Party big and ready enough to harness these overwhelming advantages of their cherished candidate and glide their way into Aso Rock?

It definitely won’t come easy but it can be done.

By the close of business yesterday, which was INEC’s deadline day for submission of candidates’ list by all parties contesting for the 2023 General Election, the Labour Party had elected candidates across the nation. Using my own Anambra State as a base, LP elected very credible and experienced politicians for the three senatorial positions, 11 House of Representatives contests and 30 House of Assembly duels.

Let me just dwell on the Senatorial positions…Hon Dr. Tony Nwoye, who is the Senatorial candidate for Anambra North has been the State Chairman of PDP, a two-time Gubernatorial candidate, and a former member of the National Assembly. He has an incredible grassroots structure in the whole of Anambra State. It won’t take Ayaka Nsugbe up to two weeks to get together his structure for the coming election.
Senator Victor Umeh is the Labour candidate for Anambra Central. He has been the National Chairman of APGA for over eight years. All through his tenure, APGA won all the Gubernatorial elections in Anambra State – three times. He was a senator of the Federal Republic. He is incredibly astute and has structures all over the state.

Dr. Obinna Uzoh is the Labour candidate for the Anambra South Senatorial zone. He started his political career in 2002, and participated in the 2003 Anambra Gubernatorial election as a candidate. Since then, he has been in politics, being the candidate for two other senatorial contests. His structure is intact.

All these three candidates are the fulcrums of the Labour structure in the state. Also, all the 11 HoR candidates, as well as the 30 HoA candidates, are tested and trusted. Anambra State Labour Party’s structural foundation is firmly in place. I can say authoritatively because I am deeply involved.

I sincerely do believe that LP, in other states of the Federation, toed the same lines in electing credible candidates across all the 774 Local Government Areas of the country. I’m confident they did.

All that is left is for the Labour Party to constitutionally beef up their Federal, States, LGAs and Ward Excos to roll out a formidable structure that will be appropriately ready for the 2023 General Election challenge. And they can do it.

There will be challenges, serious challenges on the way but believe me, they have enough motivation to surmount whatever comes their way.
They can surmount any challenge because they are the party many Nigerians are willingly volunteering to offer genuine assistance.

They can even surpass expectations because their presidential candidate has over 20 incredible support groups genuinely out to support.
Under the umbrella of the Peter Obi Coalition Movement, this group have structures in every LGA in this country. They raise their operational monies in all currencies and they are over three million members resident in Nigeria and just waiting for instructions from the leadership of the Coalition to go overdrive. The One-Million-Man-March was organised and executed within 10 days by this Coalition. HE Peter Obi’s only involvement was just to watch the videos on the D-Day as they streamed online from all states across the nation.

The Labour Party also have an incredible media team of volunteers all over the media space. No other party in today’s Nigeria has such an unbelievable advantage.

Believe me once more, Labour will be ready in eight months. Just get your PVC.