- There is a claim that the APC is afraid and feels threatened by the growing popularity of Peter Obi, the LP's presidential candidate
- The notion was put forward recently by the coordinator of HUWRIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
- Comrade Onwubiko also stated that for his alleged verbal attacks on Obi, Festus Keyamo should be arrested by the DSS
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The coordinator of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HUWRIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is clearly intimidated by the candidacy and growing popularity of Peter Obi among Nigerian youths.
Onwubiko said this as he was responding to a question by Legit.ng on the allegation of crowdfunding raised by the ruling party and others against Peter Obi, where he was accused of raising money from Nigerians abroad to fund his campaign.
Abike Dabiru warns Nigerians in Diaspora
Legit.ng recalls that the chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NIDCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who spoke during the 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA) in New York, advised them to observe the laws while supporting presidential candidates in the 2023 general elections.
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“I have been hearing stories that you are going to raise money for one person or the other person.
“Whatever you do, don’t break the laws of elections and funding in Nigeria. I think that is very important. I won’t encourage you to break any law relating to political funding; you know how it is operated in America. Ensure you observe the laws also in Nigeria.
"Section 85 (a) (b) of the Electoral Act provides that any political party that: (a) holds or possesses any fund outside Nigeria in contravention of section 225 (3) (a) of the constitution, commits an offence and shall, on conviction, forfeit the funds or assets purchased with such funds to the commission, and in addition, may be liable to a fine of at least N5million, or (b) retain any fund or other asset remitted to it from outside Nigeria in contravention of section 225.”
Tinubu’s camp reacts
Meanwhile, the Tinubu-Shettima Connect, a support group of the APC, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify Obi for allegedly violating the electoral act.
Who is funding the One-million-man march?
Recently, supporters of Peter Obi across the country stormed different cities to show solidarity and to create awareness for the Labour Party’s presidential candidate. It’s not clear how they are being funded yet.
But Legit.ng observes that the groups are seen with T-shirts, banners, flyers, and other campaign materials during the rally. Some supply water and food to volunteers during the rally. Since there is no known coordinator of the group, it’s difficult to establish how it’s been funded.
Onwubiko queries APC
But in defense of Peter Obi, Emmanuel Onwubiko, a right activist, said enough of the attack on the LP candidate by the APC, simply because they are afraid of him.
“I don’t know why the other political parties, particularly the so-called ruling APC are so scared about Peter Obi. Whatever Peter Obi does or says or what he did not even do or say is being questioned. This APC is afraid. Our fear is this kind of problem.”
Keyamo must be arrested - Onwubiko
Referencing the recent allegation by Festus Keyamo about Peter Obi faking his own assassination attempt, he said:
“Imagine someone like Festus Keyamo saying that Peter Obi will soon fake his own attempted assassination. That is the height of irresponsibility, and the government has said nothing about it. We have called that Keyamo should be arrested.
"If it’s in a civilized clime, Festus Keyamo is supposed to be with the police or DSS by now. They should ask him; what his facts are. Campaign is different from saying things that threaten national security."
Keyamo’s comment threatens national security - Onwubiko
Onwubiko argues further that the comment by the junior minister clearly threatens national security. According to him, this could anger the young people who are solidly behind Peter Obi.
“The person you are accusing enjoys massive support from the people. So many young people look up to him. His main supporters are young people, yet you are making such an unguarded statement.
"And nobody is doing anything about it. And now, a public office holder is coming to say this person is going to fake his attempted assassination. That is the height of rascality. And now he has not been arrested.“
What government should be concerned about
Onwubiko advised that instead of chasing Obi up and down because of his aspiration, the nation’s leadership should try to fix things, justifying the fact that they deserve a second opportunity.
“I don’t know why government officials are having sleepless nights. I don’t know why Tinubu and the APC are losing sleep because of Peter Obi. Instead of them having a sleepless night on what to do to overturn the collapsed economy, they are chasing Peter Obi. The nation’s economy has collapsed. Now, the government is no longer working.
"There is no government in place. There is insecurity, cost of living is unimaginable. But they have no plan for the people. They are instead talking about Peter Obi. This is very very unfortunate. They should have sleepless nights working out tangible economic programs, functional and workable blueprints to turn things around so that Nigeria could have confidence in them that they can deliver.
“But right now, they are not planning anything for Nigerians. What they are talking about is Peter Obi every other time. You even have a minister of Justice dabbling into politics, saying collecting donations from abroad is illegal, meanwhile, president Muhammadu Buhari started crowdfunding when money was being paid into his account in 2015. They should address the economic war that Nigerians are confronted with. And they should allow the process of campaign to be transparent.”
Campaigns start Sept 28
Legit.ng reports that the campaign for the 2023 elections will kick off on Wednesday, September 28. This is according to the INEC’s timetable released to the public.
INEC chief in Kaduna, Asmau Sani Maikudi, during a press briefing, said the campaigns will also run into 2023.
He said it will enable presidential and National Assembly candidates to carry out their final campaign until midnight of February 23, 2023.
Peter Obi assassination attempt? Fresh facts emerge as media aide breaks silence
Obi's spokesperson, Valentine Obienyem, made this known via a statement issued to the press on Monday, September 12.
As contained in the statement, Obienyem branded the report as fake news noting that it was instigated by Keyamo.