All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council Director of Media and Publicity Bayo Onanuga has said that presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will not lose sleep over the endorsement of his Labor Party counterpart, Peter Obi, by the Former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Obasanjo, in his New Year message to Nigerians, described Obi as someone who has an advantage in terms of character, background, understanding, knowledge, discipline and vitality over other candidates in the 2023 presidential election.
In reaction, Onanuga, in a statement on Sunday, described the endorsement as futile, adding that Obasanjo was a paperweight with no political goodwill or influence anywhere in Nigeria to make anyone win a councilor election, let alone a presidential election.
The statement read: “We read with amusement the endorsement of Mr. Peter Obi, the Labor Party presidential candidate by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his New Year message on Sunday.
“Following calls from journalists from various media outlets who asked about our reaction, we decided to make this preliminary statement, although we do not consider that the so-called endorsement was of any value.
“We respect the democratic right of former President Obasanjo to support and endorse any candidate of his choice in any election.
“Except for making it known formally in his new year message, any discerning political observer in Nigeria knows that Chief Obasanjo’s preference for Obi is expected.
“He had previously stated his position at various public events, most recently on the 70th birthday anniversary of Chief John Nwodo, former Chairman of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Enugu.
“We dare to say that our party and candidate, Tinubu, will not lose sleep over Obasanjo’s movement, as Obasanjo is known for always opposing progressive political forces, as he did against MKO Abiola in 1993.
“The endorsement is really worthless because the ex-president does not have any political goodwill or influence anywhere in Nigeria to make someone win a councilor election let alone a presidential election. He is a political paperweight.
“He is also not a Democrat anyone should be proud to be associated with.
“We recall that in the 2003 and 2007 general elections, when he was incumbent president, Obasanjo used all the coercive instruments of the state at his disposal to drag people into elective office against the will of Nigerians expressed at the ballot box.
“In 2007, he declared elections a matter of life and death after he failed to amend our constitution for a third term.
“According to our records, former President Obasanjo has failed to win elections in Nigeria since then.
“Not even in Ogun state can someone count on their support or endorsement to become governor or councilor.”
Expressing pity for Obi, Onanuga said the APC was confident Chief Obasanjo would not be able to win his voting unit and neighborhood in Abeokuta for the LP candidate in the upcoming presidential election.
He continued: “The endorsement of Chief Obasanjo is not a political currency that 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 Peoples’ Democratic Party presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in 2019 against the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.). Atiku was defeated by Buhari by a wide margin in the election.
“History will repeat itself in February, as Tinubu will still beat Obi by a wide margin.
“We took special note of the part of the endorsement statement where Chief Obasanjo said that none of the presidential candidates were saints.
“We want to state here that Chief Obasanjo is not a good judge of character. He is a man who considers himself only 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.”