The All Progressive Congress have berated former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, over his endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, in his New Year’s message.
The party’s presidential campaign council Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga, disclosed this on Sunday.
Obasanjo, in his message, signed by his spokesman, Kehinde Akinyemi, stated that the former Anambra State governor had an edge in the February 25 poll.
However, in his reaction, Onanuga disclosed that though he respects the democratic right of the former president to endorse any candidate of his choice, he has no political weight to decide any election.
The former Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria added that Obasanjo was in no capacity to make anyone win neither a presidential nor councillorship position in the forthcoming general elections.
The statement read, “We read with amusement the endorsement of Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party Presidential Candidate by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his New Year message on Sunday.
“Following calls by journalists from various media houses who asked for our reaction we decided to make this preliminary statement, though we didn’t consider the so-called endorsement to be 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 that he made it known formally in his New Year message, any discerning political watcher in Nigeria knows that Chief Obasanjo’s preference for Peter Obi is expected.
“He had earlier stated his position at various public events, the last being at the 70th birthday anniversary of Chief John Nwodo, former President of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Enugu.
“We make bold to say that our party and candidate, Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu will not lose sleep over Obasanjo’s move, as Obasanjo is notorious for always opposing progressive political forces, as he did against MKO Abiola in 1993.
“The endorsement is actually worthless because the former President does not possess any political goodwill or leverage anywhere in Nigeria to make anyone win a Councillorship election let alone win 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 2003 and 2007 general elections when he was a sitting President, Obasanjo used all the coercive instruments of State at his disposal to railroad people into elective offices against the will of Nigerians as expressed at the polls. In 2007, he declared the polls a do or die affair after he failed in his bid to amend our constitution to have a third term.
“From our records, President Obasanjo has not successfully made anyone win election in Nigeria since then. Not even in Ogun State can anyone rely on his support or endorsement to become a governor or councillor.
“We pity Peter Gregory Obi as we are confident that Chief Obasanjo cannot win his polling unit and ward in Abeokuta for Obi in the coming Presidential election on 25 February, 2023.
“Obasanjo’s endorsement is not a political currency Mr. Peter Obi can spend anywhere in Nigeria because he is not a political force, even in his part of the country. He similarly endorsed Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party candidate in 2019 against President Muhammadu Buhari. Atiku was walloped by Buhari with a wide margin in the election.
“History will repeat itself in February as our candidate Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu will equally beat Obi by a large margin.”