… as Obi visits Oba of Benin, Otaru of Auchi, Johnson Suleiman
The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, His Excellency Peter Obi has promised to take back the country from the doldrums of poverty with the provision of jobs and availability of food for the youths.
Mr Obi who was in Benin City with Labour Party leadership, was received by his teeming supporters who took the rally round the streets of Benin, the Edo State capital before moving to the Baptist Convention grounds.
Governor Godwin Obaseki had denied the former Anambra governor access to Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, an action widely condemned by political analysts.
A leader of Labour Party in the state, Chief Dr Patrick Osagie Eholor described the move as mischievous, but said there is no going back. “Nobody can stop the train of Mr Peter Obi. The dictator Godwin Obaseki cannot stop us. Nigeria must be liberated and we are going to be free”, he said.
The move was however described as a blessing in disguise, as supporters then shut down the city centre, singing and dancing around the Ring Road area, through the Oba Palace, before marching down Siluko Road to the rally grounds.
Shops were closed down, and businesses were grounded as supporters filled the streets. Commuters had to deploy alternative routes as traffic flow was grounded.
While in Benin, Obi visited the Benin Monarch, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II.
Addressing the Oba and Palace chiefs, Obi assured Nigerians that he and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed want to save Nigeria, adding that they cannot do so by stealing.
In his opening remarks the Presidential flagbearer stated that Nigeria cannot continue with insecurity and other ills plaguing its development.
According to the Presidential hopeful the 2023 general election is not about religion and neither is it about tribe.
“Next year election should not be based on tribe or religion. Nobody should bring religion here. I don’t want anybody to vote for me because I am an Igbo man or from the South East.
“If you talk of corruption go to the state I once governed (Anambra) and ask them. I was not owing salaries, pensions etc. Politics is not a job but a vocation.”
Going further, he promised the monarch that “in our government we will make sure that dignified fathers like you are well placed. We want a responsive government.”
Responding to an enquiry by the monarch that he learnt credibly that while he was the Governor of Anambra State he rejected a land gift he was bestowed with basing his action on the argument that he was elected in the state to serve.
“There are a whole lot of temptations in the office of President of Nigeria. Are you saying that you will do your best to resist them?” the Monarch asked.
The Peter Obi/Yusuf Ahmed Baba-Datti Campaign team’s arrival and departure from the magnificent Benin Palace took several minutes as the mammoth group of ecstatic supporters of the duo held them at the gate while singing the LP’s victory song.
Addressing his teeming supporters at the Baptist Convention ground, venue of the Labour party rally, Obi stated that there is an urgent need to make Nigeria work. He said the Labour Party is keen at stopping the flight of youths out of the country through putting things in place to make the country work.
He apologized for keeping his supporters waiting due to his tight schedule but promised to be back in Benin City which he confirmed to be a stronghold of the party.
Earlier, Mr Peter Obi and his team had visited Apostle Johnson Suleman, general overseer of the Omega Fire Ministries International, in Auchi.
He had also visited Alhaji Aliru Momoh, Ikelebe III, the Otaru of Auchi Kingdom in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State. Mr Obi also addressed a heavy crowd of teeming supporters in the Palace.
The campaign rally which finally started at Baptist Convention dragged on into the night as ecstatic supporters turned the whole affair into a carnival.