- Ahead of 2023, Hillard Etta, former APC national vice chairman, south-south, said Peter Obi is the new "paradigm" that his party has to deal with
- Etta said the Labour Party presidential candidate will get substantial votes from the south-south and the southeast
- The APC chieftain, however, noted that it is the PDP that would be affected by Obi's growing chances just as he said Tinubu, the APC candidate, will emerge the winner
FCT, Abuja - Hillard Etta, former APC national vice chairman, south-south, has projected that Peter Obi, Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, will get substantial votes from the south-south and the southeast in the 2023 elections.
The APC chieftain, however, expressed optimism that the ruling party's presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, would be sworn in as the 16th President of Nigeria in 2023.
Peter Obi not known in the rural areas - Etta
He said Obi is not known in the rural areas, though he admitted that the LP presidential candidate is "a phenomenon in the South-south, South-east, metropolitan Abuja, Lagos on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.”
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Etta also predicted that APC's chances will not be affected by Obi, noting that the former Anambra governor was going to eat up PDP’s votes in the south-south and south-east, leaving APC and Labour Party to contend for votes in both zones.
“APC as a party is happy to have Obi as a candidate. Obi is popular in the metropolitan Abuja, metropolitan Lagos, but in the rural areas of Nigeria, people in Zungeru or Zango Kataf, ask them about Obi, most of them will mistaken him for a spare parts trader.
"The truth is Obi is a phenomenon in the South-south, South-east, metropolitan Abuja, Lagos on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.”
2023: It’ll be disastrous if Tinubu loses, says Etta
Etta said it would be terrible if Tinubu did not win the presidential election next year.
He, however, said the ruling party is not entertaining any fear of defeat.
“We don’t have any apprehension that we will not win. We are waiting for campaign to start in September and election in February, by the grace of God.
"We know our work is cut out for us. We know it is not going to be a walk into the park. We know we have new paradigm that we must deal with," Etta said.
Atiku is an old customer - Etta
Etta said the ruling APC had dealt with the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, before and would deal with him again.
“Atiku is an old customer. We have dealt with him before and we are going to deal with him again. We know his tricks; he cannot come with new tricks. We are going to deal with him politically,” he said.
Etta said the Labour Party presidential candidate, Obi, remained the paradigm APC needed to deal with.
Huge boost for Peter Obi as top PDP chieftains defect to Labour Party in Ebonyi
Meanwhile, a former House of Representatives member and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Linus Okorie, and three other chieftains of the party, have dumped the main opposition party for the Labour Party (LP) in Ebonyi state.
Others, who defected to the Labour Party, include the governorship aspirant of the PDP, Chief Eze Emmanuel; a chieftain of the party, Anselem Enigwe; a former Commissioner for Education in the state; and Prince Chibuez Agbo.