Former Anambra State governor and Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, has reacted to the comment from his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) opponent, Atiku Abubakar, that it would take a miracle for Obi to win the 2023 presidential election.
He added that Mr Obi and the Labour Party only had support on social media and lacked the required structure at the grassroots to win the forthcoming poll.
Atiku, a former Vice-President, ran for the presidency in 2019, with Mr Obi, a former Governor of Anambra State, as his running mate.
Premium Times recalls that Obi defected from the PDP to pick the Labour Party’s presidential ticket earlier this year, a move, Atiku said he had no prior knowledge of.
The former political allies will be running against each other and other front runners including presidential candidate of the the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.
Reacting to Atiku’s comment in an interview on Channels TV on Monday, Mr Obi said his political journey has been a series of miracles which enabled him to overcome many hurdles.
Mr Obi said he is looking forward to the next miracle that will make him president of the country in 2023.
“Miracle is the root of our faith,” was Mr Obi’s response when he was asked to react to the comments by Atiku.
He said since he started his political journey, he has encountered nothing short of “miraculous achievements.”
He recalled how he contested for governor of Anambra State under a party that was less than a year old. He also recalled how he went to Court and won and how he is the “only governor to come back from impeachment.”
“…So, I am looking forward to the next miracle,” he said.
Mr Obi also confirmed that he told no one of his decision to leave the PDP. He said he did so because he did not want anyone to talk him out of it and he left with his interest and the interest of Nigerians at heart.
“Atiku remains my respected brother. I didn’t tell other respected people including my family because I didn’t want people to talk me out of it,” he said. “I did it in the best interest of my future and the future of Nigerians.”
When asked if he will consider an alignment with Atiku in the future, he simply said all that matters to him now is “going into the election to win.”
On insecurity, he said one key step to tackling insecurity was by pulling the people out of poverty.
The presidential hopeful who said he did not want to disclose his plans for tackling insecurity if elected, said there was the need for “proper manpower and proper equipment” as well as the “political will to deal decisively and immediately with terrorists.”
This is even as he echoed his support for state police.
He further said if elected, he would use justice, fairness and inclusiveness to unify the country.
“We will consult, negotiate and tour every part of this country. Where we need to beg, we will do so…”
Mr Obi is currently and arguably the most preferred presidential candidate on social media at the moment.
Although critics say this is not enough to win an election, his supporters – who have tagged themselves ‘OBIdients’ – have vowed to garner enough votes for him to win at the 2023 polls.
Excerpt of Channels TV interview with Obi
CHANNELS: Mr. Peter obi. Atiku said so many things about you, he said it will take a miracle for you to win the election, what’s your take on that?
OBI: Well, my Political journey has been a miracle. So many things have happened in my life that people never thought would be possible. In 2003, I contested for the Anambra Governorship election under a party that was just one year old, people said it will take a miracle for me to win the election that year, I Won.
Six months later, I was impeached. I challenged the impeachment in court. People said it will be impossible for me to come back to office, that no governor has ever come back to office after impeachment. They said it will take a miracle for me to win the case in court, I won the case.
I came back to office and in 2007, an election was conducted and Andy Uba declared the winner. I went to court again to seek for the interpretation of our laws. I told the court that the tenure of a Governor is four years and I should be allowed to finish my tenure. People said it will take miracle for me to win that case, I won.
So my political journey has been like a miracle and I’m waiting for the bigger miracle to happen in 2023. That’s my response to Atiku’s statement.
CHANNELS: Alright, Atiku said that 90% of northeners are not on social media, so he is not bothered about your popularity online. What’s your take on that?
OBI: Well, that’s the problem I’m coming to solve as the Nigerian President. I have said it before that the north will be our new oil. I will convert that population to wealth through Production. I will invest in education so that those who don’t know how to operate the internet in the north, will learn how it is done. The north is our new oil.
CHANNELS: Alright, maybe I should stop talking about what Atiku said and go into other topics but before I do that, I will like to ask you this question. Atiku said you didn’t inform him when you left the PDP, is that true?
OBI: Yes, it is true.
CHANNELS: Why didn’t you inform him? As his former running mate, many expected you to inform your former boss before taking that decision.
OBI: You see Seun, a time will come in a man’s life, where he will decide to take a very strong decision about his life and his people, without informing those who are likely to tell him not to take such decision. I have so many important people in my life that I didn’t tell that I was going to leave PDP. Ididn’t even tell my family at that time. I took that decision because it is the best thing to do and I didn’t want anybody to distract me.
Remember when I left, I told Nigerians that I rather lose doing the right thing, than win doing the wrong thing.
CHANNELS: How will your security plan be like?
OBI: It will be immediate and desicive.
I will pull people out of poverty, it has been proven that the more you pull people out of poverty, the more you reduce crime. I will invest in education and military manpower. All options will be on the table.