The Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi has reacted to Prof Wole Soyinka’s allegation that his supporters, popularly known as ‘Obidients’ are ‘fascists’.
The former Anambra governor, who stated this during his interview on the Arise television on Monday, revealed that he said, that comment could come from a father figure he holds in high esteem, like Prof Soyinka.
According to him, Prof Soyinka is well respected both at home and abroad, and sees him as a father figure, and has a lot of respect for him.
Obi further explained that not all the people always referred to as ‘Obedient’ are entirely with him, claiming that the opposition had also joined them, to portray them as bad people.
However, the former Anambra governor strengthened that young people have been robbed by supposedly a system that is meant to care for them, noting that those they look up to, as leaders, have disappointed them, and also betrayed their trust in them hence the reaction from the youths.
Claiming that his supporters have been put on the wall, Obi said the society that gave birth to them has denied them their rights as members of the society, noting that the society offers them nothing more than poverty.
It would be recalled that Prof Soyinka had referred to Obi’s supporters as fascist, during one of his interviews with Channels Television, recently.
However, Obi in his reaction, said, ”Prof is a well respected, revered personality in Nigeria and globally. And I have always respected him and he is a dear father to me. For me, I was very very sad that there was such an exchange.
”Some of the ‘Obidients’, I must tell you, or people they mentioned that they are ‘Obidient’ are not entirely people who are with us.
“The opposition has also come into it. We don’t worry about that. But I was very sad there was such an exchange.
“I respect a father, but you have to understand this, these young people are people who have been so deprived by supposedly a system that is supposed to care for them.
“They have been pushed to the wall. Even, with the way they even react when I say things, I could feel their pain. I could feel it because I live in the same system that they are living in.
“When we were young, things were working. All of a sudden, it became a worse situation.”
“My comment on that is that Prof remains a revered father, and I have kept respecting him for that.
“And of course the young ‘Obidients’ I feel for them, I wish you can feel what they are feeling, the pain.
“There is nothing the society is offering them, even when they try to do it on their own. This is a place you move around with a laptop, you will be arrested and labelled all sorts of names.
“This is a place where people are thrown into jail for commenting people who have stolen billions of the country’s money, done worst things are moving around and celebrated.”