By Raymond Ozoji, Awka
On Monday, August 15, 2022, Prof Pat Utomi and Comrade Kennedy Iyere brought together several high-profile Nigerians in Lagos to officially launch a pro-Peter Obi political donor-fundraising campaign tagged FUND40MB, which is a PAC-driven global fundraising initiative anchored by the 40Million Ballots Movement (40MB).
FUND40MB was launched out of the critical necessity to globally fundraise, generate and mobilize the sufficient funds needed to finance the grassroots recruitment and mobilization of 40 million youth and women voters for the support of Peter Obi, ahead of Nigeria’s forthcoming 2023 presidential election.
While conducting the public unveiling of FUND40MB, Prof Utomi affirmed that the desire to create a new Nigeria which would work for every citizen was the reason he and other patriotic Nigerians were compelled to create an alternative political platform called the “third force”, whose core mandate is to drift Nigeria away from the old political order by wrestling power from the PDP and APC in 2023.
According to Prof Utomi, the old political order cannot be replaced unless money politics is first eradicated by citizens by directly taking upon themselves the responsibility of financing elections and democratic processes. “But for this third force to succeed, we need to find a new way of financing our democracy through the direct involvement of citizens,” said Prof Utomi.
He therefore further buttressed the necessity for the creation of “FUND40MB Global Fundraising Campaign” and also affirmed it’s relevance to the success of the “Third Force Movement”, which is all about Peter Obi. Prof Pat Utomi is the Chair of the 40Million Ballots Movement (40MB).
Comrade Kennedy Iyere, Convener of the 40Million Ballots Movement (40MB), is the Chief Fundraiser of FUND40MB and its global fundraising activities. Comrade Iyere had boldly stated that the 40Million Ballots Movement (40MB) is not like most other Support Groups of Peter Obi. According to him, the 40Million Ballots Movement (40MB) was created long before Peter Obi ever thought of contesting for the presidential seat.
He said, “We would like to state at this point that the 40Milliom Ballots Movement was formed long before Peter Obi joined the 2023 Presidential Race, 40Million Ballots Movement was created through the strategic collaborations of key NGOs, CSOs and major Ethnic Nationalities, including Afenifere, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), Mdzough U-Tiv, 2023 Power-Shift Movement, Youths Off The Street Initiative (YOTSI) and Igbo World Assembly (IWA) among others.
“40Million Ballots Movement was initiated out of the existing necessity to compel equitable presidential power-shift to the Southeast Region in 2023 hinged on the imperative need to enforce the implementation of Rotational Presidency, which in 2023 will work in favour of the Igbos from the Southeast Region, specifically in view of the fact that the Igbos and the Southeast Region have been unjustly denied the opportunity to produce a democratically elected Nigerian president since the country’s political independence in 1960.
“As it stands today, Peter Obi is the Chief Beneficiary of the pro-Igbo presidential power-shift activism anchored by the 40Million Ballots Movement. Hence the reason he has been adopted as our consensus candidate”.
Comrade Iyere established the fact that the 40Million Ballots Movement is 100% independent and is not influenced or controlled by Peter Obi, Labour Party or their allies.
Dr. Tanko Yunusa, who is the Chief Spokesperson to Peter Obi and the Obi-Datta Presidential Campaign Organization applauded Comrade Kennedy Iyere and the 40Million Ballots Movement for launching the FUND40MB Global Fundraising Campaign. Dr. Yunusa is one of the founders and top leaders of the 40Million Ballots Movement (40MB).
Other Key speakers at the unveiling ceremony of the FUND40MB Fundraising Campaign include Funke Awolowo, first Grand Daughter of the late Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo; Barrister Godwin Nwobodo, a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG); Barrister Christian Wogu, a frontline lawyer and development expert and several Nigerian professionals across the Diaspora.