Divergent views have continued to trail the endorsement of the Labour Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo.
On New Year’s Day, Obasanjo condemned President Muhammadu Buhari administration for failing to translate the aspirations of Nigerians. He then endorsed Peter Obi.
The elder statesman said he has had interactions with major presidential contestants in the 2023 presidential elections who claimed to be his mentees and Obi was youthful, has the ability to not only unite the country, had a listening ear, and was willing to rescue Nigeria from economic collapse.
Peter Obi has in the last three days been endorsed by elder statesmen like Obasanjo and Edwin Clark, leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), sparking reactions from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Tinubu had described the endorsement as worthless because Obasanjo who is a ‘political paperweight’ does not possess any political goodwill to make anyone win a councillorship or presidential election.
While Atiku through his spokesman Dino Melaye said Obasanjo is posturing as Nigeria’s electoral janitor when he is not the ‘custodian’ of the key to Aso Rock, Kwakwaso advised him to stop disgracing himself, insisting that Peter Obi’s endorsement was based on religious and ethnic sentiments.
Responding to criticism from the trio, popular aircraft engineer and Deputy Campaign Manager 1 of the Obi-Datti Campaign Council said the APC and the PDP were living in self deceit.
In an interview, he queried why the presidential aspirants claimed the endorsement was worthless yet they preferred to visit Obasanjo to endorse them.
Balami in defence of the former president, argued that Buhari celebrated and praised Obasanjo for endorsing him in 2015.
The former spokesman of the Trade Union Congress said, ”If Obasanjo is not important, why did Tinubu visit him? If endorsement of people that matter is not important, why did APC become so desperate and even went to a former Afenifere leader to endorse and bless them when the incumbent Afenifere leader endorsed and blessed Obi?
”If endorsement is not important, in 2015 when Obasanjo endorsed Buhari, Buhari spoke on CNN and said that Obasanjo was someone that his opinion mattered. He said Obasanjo’s endorsement meant a lot and it would attract so many followers. How can a former Head of State military, former President endorse someone and you say the endorsement mean nothing? I think it is self deceit. The worst thing in this life is for someone to lie and deceive himself.
”I think the APC and the PDP are still living in self denial but in the next couple of weeks they will realise that Nigerians have made up their mind to take back their country. It is not a matter of what they think anymore, it is a matter of reality.
”The issue of BVAs has come to stay. They can go and buy as much vote as they want to buy, people are tired and they will do what is right.
”You can’t say Clark’s endorsement means nothing. When it suits them they are happy but when it doesn’t, they say something else.
”For us we are focused. We are just about six months into this and we have made them have sleepless nights and it will continue until we take over the country.
”This is not about Peter Obi and Datti, Nigerians are tired. I will advise the APC and the PDP to be honest to themselves,” he added.