The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has promised to hold more interactive meetings with Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi.
Recall that the leaders had during the week held an interactive meeting with Obi. SMBLF also at its last meeting on 25th June held in Abuja, firmly reiterated its stance on the principle of zoning and power rotation between the North and the South, and resolved to engage with appropriate Presidential Candidates and afterwards decide on which of the Candidates to recommend to the Peoples of Southern Nigeria, the Middle Belt region and indeed, all Nigerians of goodwill, for consideration at the polls in 2023.
The meeting was hosted by Afenifere Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, in Lagos, at the instance of the Leader of SMBLF and PANDEF National Leader, Chief Dr. E. K. Clark given that he is in a period of mourning following the sad loss of his immediate younger brother, Ambassador B. A. Clark late July.
In a statement issued Friday by its Coordinating Secretary, Ken Robinson, the Forum said the meeting with Obi was robust and gracious; as the candidate spoke extensively on the state of the nation; economy, insecurity, and restructuring, as well as, his vision, plans and programmes to make Nigeria a better nation.
According to him, Obi appealed for, not just the support, but, the partnership of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum.
In his response, Afenifere Leader, Adebanjo, speaking on behalf of the Forum commended Obi for his impressive vision for the country and agreed to have further interactions with him.
The interactive meeting with Obi is the first of the engagements SMBLF plans to hold with Presidential Candidates of Southern Extraction.
Obi was accompanied to the meeting by party leaders and notable personalities, including the National Chairman of the party, Mr. Julius Abure, and the National secretary, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, the Director-General of his Campaign, Doyin Okupe, and a renowned Professor of Political Economy, Prof. Pat Utomi, etc.
The four constituent organisations of SMBLF were adequately represented at the meeting.
Afenifere had its Leader and host, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, the Deputy Leader, Oba Oladipo Olaitan, and the Secretary, Chief Barr. Sola Ebiseni, Chief (Sen) Femi Okurounmu, Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, Balogun Akin Osuntokun, Mogaji Adejumo, and others.
The Middle Belt Forum had the President, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, Elder Statesmen; Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (rtd), General Zamani Lekwot (rtd), and Chief Senator Cornelius Adebayo, former Governor of old Kwara State, DIG Pota Dabup (rtd), as well as Hon. Mrs. Sarah Dokotri, Mrs. Elizabeth Jibrin, Dr. Isuwa Dogo, Mela Munghe, etc .
Ohanaeze Ndigbo delegation had the Secretary-General, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, MFR, two former President-Generals, Chief John Nwodo and Chief Gary Igariwey, as well as Chief Simon Okeke, Prof. Ihechukwu Madubuike, Professor Charles Nwekeaku, Chief Goody Uwazurike, Chief Chiedozie Ezeugwa, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, Hon. Emeka Ogwo, Hon. Lucky Ekeji and Mr. Irene Onuma.
PANDEF had the National Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, FNSE, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, Professor G. G. Darah, Dr. Alfred Mulade, Elder Mac Emakpore, Chief Denzil Amagbe Kentebe, Chief Mrs. Daba Obioha and the National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, who is also the coordinating secretary of SMBLF.