Fans and supporters of the presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, Saturday, locked down Umuahia the Abia State capital in a solidarity rally for him.
The rally tagged ” #I million Man-March For Peter Obi and Datti-Ahmed”, began from the Abia Tower Junction of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway through the Government House/Bank Road to Aba Road before terminating at ShopRite junction after the popular Isi-Gate axis of Umuwaya Road.
There was traffic snarl as the mammoth crowd of supporters glided through the major streets chanting solidarity songs and dancing to the admiration of residents.
Other road users had hectic day trying to meander through adjourning roads to avoid being held up in the traffic as the joyous and peaceful procession which started around 8:00am lasted till around after noon.
Thousands of enthusiastic fans mostly youths from various political backgrounds vowed to mobilise Abia voters in support of Obi at the 2023 presidential poll.
According to some of them who spoke with our Correspondent, Obi will get more than 90% of Abia votes in the forthcoming polls.
Mr Bassey Prince, from Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State but resides in Umuahia, told Vanguard the he was druming support for Obi because of his credibility, vision and antecedents.
” I believe in his agenda to change Nigeria from consumption to production country’, he said.
Bassey who is the Umuahia North Coordinator of Peter Obi Support Network said that Nigerian youths have seen Obi as a beacon of hope and solution to a myriad of woes plaguing the country.
Similarly, Emmanuel Ugwumsinachi said he was part of the rally because he wanted Obi to take over the country and transform it as he did while holding sway as Governor of Anambra State.
Another supporter of the Obi/Datti movement, Mrs Ifunanya Iheazor said Nigeria would witness real change under Obi’s presidency.
” Everything is not about money. We are tired of money bags in politics. We need a real change, and we see in Obi the change we desire”.
Speaking also, the Abia State Coordinator of Peter Obi Support Network, Prince Solomon, expressed excitement over the massive turnout for the rally, saying it “has sent panic waves down the spine of those with structure”.
He said that the swelling support for Obi was due to his exemplary leadership qualities and had nothing to do with his tribe or party.
Solomon who said that the 2023 poll would be “individual and not party -based”, challenged other candidates thinking they will hide under Obi’s goodwill to think twice.
” I’m excited Abia people have come out en mass to show support for a man who has shown integrity in holding public office.
“There were other Nigerians who held this same office that Peter Obi held but if you mention their names today people will vomit.
” Those who think they can hide under Obi’s goodwill should think twice. They should emulate him if they want Nigerians to look their way. In the coming election people will vote for Obi and other credible candidates like him in other parties especially those who have impacted on youths”.
Adding her voice, the Abia State Lead Coordinator of all Peter Obi pro-groups, Madam Maltida said the “Obi-Datti movement is unstoppable and will consume all the undemocratic forces holding the country down”.
She said that Nigerian youths had risen to take back their country from political principalities holding the country down.
According to her Nigeria will witness unprecedented rallies for any presidential candidate when the ban on campaign would be lifted.
In a related development, Peter Obi’s supporters were on Saturday tear-gassed by the police in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, in South-East Nigeria.
Members and their supporters had gathered along Mile 50 to embark on a rally to canvass support for their candidate but were stopped from going into the streets.
One of the supporters who spoke to Channels Television, Nwali Ikechukwu, said some persons were injured when the security agency came calling.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Ebonyi State Police Command, SP Chris Anyanwu, could not be immediately reached for comments.