- The presidential candidate of the opposition PDP, Atiku Abubakar, may not get the crucial endorsement of former President Obasanjo in 2023
- Obasanjo was said to be displeased with the outcome of the PDP presidential primary which produced Atiku, a northerner, as a winner
- The former president who wants the presidency to be occupied by a southerner in 2023 is said to be considering backing Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate
The outcome of the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which produced Atiku Abubakar as the winner appears not to have met former President Olusegun Obasanjo's expectations, a report by New Telegraph stated.
Atiku was declared as the winner of the primary, after polling 371 votes, to defeat his closest rival and Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike who garnered 237.
However, New Telegraph cited anonymous sources as saying that Obasanjo "feels strongly that the 2023 presidency should be zoned to the South, in the interest of equity, justice and fairness."
2023 presidency: Obasanjo to support Peter Obi
Following the emergence of a northerner as the PDP presidential candidate, the sources cited by New Telegraph said Obasanjo may have concluded plans to throw his weight behind the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi.
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Obi, a former governor of Anambra state, was a presidential aspirant on the PDP platform until Wednesday, May 25, when he resigned and later moved to the Labour Party where he has emerged the presidential candidate.
One of the sources was quoted as saying:
“Let me inform you that Chief Obasanjo’s possible support for Peter Obi is borne out of patriotism and the need for balancing, equity, and justice, considering the plurality of Nigeria."
Cross River former governor Duke to mobilise support for Peter Obi
Meanwhile, another cited source said a former governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke, has been detailed by Obasanjo to galvanize support for Obi, according to Leadership newspaper.
“On the 29th (May), former President (Olusegun) Obasanjo expressed his unhappiness about the outcome of the presidential primary of the PDP.
“He has (allegedly) commissioned a former Governor of Cross River State, to drive the process of galvanizing support for a Southern Presidency, Obi being the preferred choice.
“As a matter of fact, the former governor is under instruction to bring Obi, and many aggrieved PDP stalwarts and interests together," a source who spoke to New Telegraph said.
Peter Obi's presidency: Duke asked to lobby Wike
The sources said part of Duke’s assignments is to mobilise support across the southern part of the country in favour of Obi.
Obasanjo also reportedly held meetings with Obi and Duke and urged them to lobby River state governor, Nyesom Wike, who is obviously angry at the outcome of the primary of the PDP, where he lost to Atiku.
The sources also said Obasanjo had concluded plans to personally meet with Wike and all the top stakeholders from the southern part of the country to ensure that power returns to the south at the 2023 general election.
Peter Obi reacts, welcomes support
Another source said the Labour Party's presidential candidate has welcomed the proposed support.
Obi was also said to have promised Obasanjo of his "commitment to a united, peaceful and prosperous country.
2023: ’I’m counting on you, Peter Obi tells youths, market women
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the Labour Party's presidential candidate, Obi, said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP would not win the 2023 election because the parties have expired and lost their political relevance in the country.
He made this disclosure while speaking with journalists shortly after a meeting with leaders and members of the party in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.
The former governor of Anambra state said he is banking on Nigeria’s workforce, youths, and market women to beat both the APC and the PDP at the 2023 general elections.