‘Obi is a regional candidate’, ‘Atiku has no base’- LP, PDP biker

Peter Obi, Anambra, PDP, 2021

Labour Party (LP), campaign council has said the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is desperately looking for a support base.

The party said, unlike the PDP, the Labour Party is in every part of Nigeria, adding that he doesn’t need to struggle for a base.

Speaking through the spokesman of his presidential campaign council, Yunusa Tanko, the LP candidate said Nigerians are looking for real change, and have seen it in the labour party and their presidential candidate.

Tanko was reacting to a statement by the PDP campaign council that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party is a regional candidate.

The PDP, apparently wary of the growing popularity of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, ahead of the 2023 general election, accused the former Anambra State governor of splitting the opposition in the country.

It alleged that all those campaigning for Obi are working for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu Tinubu.

Spokesman of the PDP presidential campaign council, Dino Melaye, called on Obi to “come back home” to support Atiku in order to stop the continuation of APC in government.

In a statement he issued yesterday in Abuja, Melaye noted that Obi does not have the capacity to unite the country.

“We are not looking for a base. It is Atiku that is struggling for a base. Labour Party and Peter Obi supporters are in every part of Nigeria so, we don’t need to struggle with anyone for structure or base,” Tanko said.

He noted that the Labour Party has only 30 senatorial candidates as against the 109 senatorial seats.

He said, “I will start without coloring it. And Nigerians must know that any vote for Peter Obi is a vote for APC because Peter Obi cannot make it. So, anybody that is voting for the Labour Party is actually voting for Tinubu. Anybody that is campaigning for Peter Obi is actually praying and working for Tinubu to become the President of the Republic of Nigeria because if you are voting for Peter Obi, you are depleting the votes of PDP because Peter Obi cannot make it.

He however claimed that Obi cannot stop Atiku’s victory in 2023.

“The truth of the matter is that the Labour Party only fielded 30 out of 109 candidates for the Senate. So who is going to protect the votes of the Labour party when even fielding candidates for 109 senatorial seats they couldn’t. They only fill that in 30 constituencies. Even the House of Representatives, they couldn’t field in every constituency. For the House of assembly they couldn’t fill upto 50 percent across the country,” Melaye stated.

He said fielding candidates for these positions is a basic criterion for measuring a party’s national spread for elections.

He further likened Obi to a regional candidate, claiming that that was the reason why Chief Obafemi Awolowo; Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe; Aminu Kano; couldn’t emerge presidents of Nigeria.

He added that Buhari emerged president after he ran on a national platform of the APC, having lost elections three times because he was a regional champion.

“Chief Awolowo was a fantastic leader, intellectually mobile and cerebral, very sagacious. But because he was running on regional grounds, both as Action Group and a UPN, he never became the president of this country.

“Azikiwe, another fantastic nationalists, but because he was a regional champion he was only able to produce governors within the eastern part of his country.

“Aminu Kano, a very pious man with all sincerity and integrity, could only win elections with PRP in Kano and Kaduna. Buhari himself, ran on regional grounds three times and lost woefully because he was the regional champion, both in APP, ANPP, and in CPC, he couldn’t win until he ran on a national platform. When people like Atiku, Tinubu, Saraki and myself collapsed to form a national party that was when Buhari could become president. So historically, Peter Obi ought to know that no regional champion can be president in Nigeria,” he said.

While responding to Melaye, Tanko further noted that the party is ready for the 2023 polls and would “continue to mobilise Nigerians to vote for Peter Obi and Labour Party for a better future.”