Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has reacted to the endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, saying he won’t lose sleep.
Recall Obasanjo in his new year message endorsed Obi saying he is better than the others and urged Nigerian youths to queue behind him to take back their country by voting him.
Obasanjo also overlooked Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the party upon which he was elected president in 1999 with Atiku as Vice President.
Describing the endorsement as an amusement, Tinubu via a statement issued on his behalf by Bayo Onanuga, Director of Media and Publicity,
APC Presidential Campaign Council, said Obasanjo was in his right to endorse anyone.
He said the”so-called endorsement was of no value.
“We respect the democratic right of former President Obasanjo to support and endorse any candidate of his choice in any election.”
He added that, “Except that he made it known formally in his new year message, any discerning political watcher in Nigeria knows that Chief Obasanjo’s preference for Peter Obi is expected.
“He had earlier stated his position at various public events, the last being at the 70th birthday anniversary of Chief John Nwodo, former President of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Enugu.
“We make bold to say that our party and candidate, Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu will not lose sleep over Obasanjo’s move, as Obasanjo is notorious for always opposing progressive political forces, as he did against MKO Abiola in 1993.
“The endorsement is actually worthless because the former President does not possess any political goodwill or leverage anywhere in Nigeria to make anyone win a Councillorship election let alone win a Presidential election. He is a political paperweight.
“He is also not a democrat anyone should be proud to be associated with,” Tinubu said.
He reminisced that, “In 2003 and 2007 general elections when he was a sitting President, Obasanjo used all the coercive instruments of State at his disposal to railroad people into elective offices against the will of Nigerians as expressed at the polls.
“In 2007, he declared the polls a do or die affair after he failed in his bid to amend our constitution to have a third term.
“From our records, President Obasanjo has not successfully made anyone win election in Nigeria since then.
“Not even in Ogun State can anyone rely on his support or endorsement to become a governor or Councillor,” Tinubu added.
He said, “We pity Peter Gregory Obi as we are confident that Chief Obasanjo can not win his polling unit and ward in Abeokuta for Obi in the coming Presidential election on 25 February, 2023.
“Chief Obasanjo’s endorsement is not a political currency Mr. Peter Obi can spend anywhere in Nigeria because he is not a political force, even in his part of the country.
“Chief Obasanjo similarly endorsed Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party candidate in 2019 against President Muhammadu Buhari. Atiku was walloped by Buhari with a wide margin in the election.
“History will repeat itself in February as our candidate Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu will equally beat Obi by a large margin.
“We take a particular notice of the part of the endorsement statement where Chief Obasanjo said none of the presidential candidates is a Saint.
“We want to state here that Chief Obasanjo is not a good judge of character. He is a man who considers only himself as the all-knowing Saint in Nigeria.
“Over the years, Chief Obasanjo has also convinced himself that integrity, honesty and all good virtues begin and end with him,” Tinubu said.