A chieftain of the Labour Party (LP), Valentine Ozigbo, has categorically refuted a media report the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, is planning to step down for his counterpart in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
The Special Adviser to Obi on Technology and Strategic Alliances was reacting to a media report that some members of the LP Presidential Campaign Council met on Monday at an Abuja hotel to discuss moves aimed at an alliance between Obi and Atiku.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Ozigbo described the report as false and malicious, saying that any propaganda or fake news will not stop the move to rescue the country from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ozigbo said the fake news sponsored by some elements in the PDP is aimed at derailing the massive momentum of Obidients across Nigeria and worldwide, who are rooting for Obi’s Presidency.
The former Anambra governorship candidate said the LP is fully committed to supporting its presidential candidate and his vision for leading Nigeria out of its current travails.
The statement partly reads, “The claims reported on a faceless online medium are completely false and without any basis. The Labour Party is fully committed to supporting its presidential candidate, His Excellency Peter Obi, and his vision for leading Nigeria out of its current travails.
“We firmly believe that Peter Obi is the best candidate for the presidency, with a track record of solid leadership, and a clear plan for addressing the significant challenges facing our country.
“Mr Peter Obi has consistently demonstrated a deep understanding of the needs of the Nigerian people, and has the experience and expertise needed to implement effective policies and bring about real change.
“It is disappointing that some elements within the PDP are spreading false rumors and engaging in underhanded tactics, rather than focusing on a fair and open contest of ideas. This unprofessional conduct indicates their fear of fair competition and lack of confidence in their own candidate’s abilities.”
Ozigbo stated that there is no likelihood of Obi stepping down for Atiku or any other presidential candidate, adding that he would not wish to join issues with either the Atiku or Tinubu campaigns for circulating the falsehood.
The LP chieftain added that he would also not disrupt the current brickbats between the APC and PDP over allegations and counter allegations of corruption between them.
Ozigbo asserted that Atiku and Tinubu should step aside for Obi in the best interest of Nigeria’s future and the prosperity of the citizens, adding that the withdrawal from the race will give Nigeria a clean break from its ugly past.
He, however, urged party supporters and all Nigerians to remain steadfast in the effort to rescue the country and reject the PDP’s efforts to undermine Obi’s presidential bid.
The statement added: “In a civilized setting, and given the towering credentials and acceptability of Peter Obi, the wise thing for Atiku and Tinubu to do would have been to allow Peter Obi to go unopposed by honorably stepping down. But if they insist on continuing, they should be ready to accept their fate at the polls.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Obi remains the frontrunner in this 2023 race. His two main rivals continue to trail him in the pre-election polls. He is winning with all major demographic across Nigeria in every single poll conducted, even those commissioned by APC and PDP.
“Peter Obi is an enigma, a truly inspirational leader who has the backing of the Nigerian youth and all Nigerians who love our country and wish for the best.
“We will not be distracted by this fake news and will continue to work tirelessly to promote Peter Obi’s candidacy and his plans for a better Nigeria.
“We call on all supporters of the Labour Party and all Nigerians to remain steadfast in this effort and reject the PDP’s efforts to subvert the democratic process and derail our pathway to the Presidency.“