…this election is war, says Adebanjo
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has endorsed the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the forthcoming presidential election, Peter Obi, and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, describing them as the best among others.
The SMBLF backed Obi on Thursday after its marathon meeting in Abuja attended by leaders of the Middle Belt Forum, Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pan-Niger Delta Forum and a cross-section of dignitaries and opinion leaders from the country.
Among those in attendance were the leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; leader of the MBF, Dr Pogu Bitrus; a former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwumeka Ezeife; a former deputy governor of Lagos State, Bucknor Akerele; Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and the leader of PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, among others.
A communique read at the end of the meeting by the Coordinator of the SMBLF, Chief John Nwodo, said the organisation decided to endorse the Obi/Datti ticket and the LP because they represented the symbol of the mission to rescue Nigeria from imminent collapse.
According to the SMBLF, Obi epitomised the kind of leader that Nigeria needed presently, given his track record.
The organisation also said apart from the need to entrench justice, equity and fairness in the leadership of Nigeria, Obi represented the best leadership qualities among all the front runners in the presidential race.
The SMBLF charged all the leaders of the affiliate groups to go back home and mobilise for Obi and the Labour Party.
Speaking on speculations that some undemocratic elements were plotting to have the forthcoming presidential election postponed or scuttled, the SMBLF warned that it would not tolerate such moves and would rise in unison against it.
Adebanjo in his presentation, charged the delegates to take the endorsement seriously as the 2023 elections might be the last opportunity well meaning Nigerians have to salvage the country.
He said at 95, he was already old and could afford to leave the matter for younger people.
The nonagenarian said he had chosen to remain in the struggle because of posterity.
He likened the current struggle to enthrone good leadership to the struggle by the National Democratic Coalition against military rule in the 1990s.
According to him, all hands must be on deck to ensure the success of the Obi project.
“Don’t be deceived, this is not just an election, it is a war and our opponents are not sleeping at all. You’re fighting a battle to free yourself and your children’s children from slavery. The oppressors don’t want to leave power,” he said.
Ezeife drew the attention of the SMBLF to alleged plans by some anti-democratic forces to cause mayhem in order to scuttle the forthcoming elections.
According to him, the plot by some people to disrupt the polls must not be wished away as a mere rumour as those behind the threats were desperate and could go to any length to achieve their goals.