Bayo Onanuga, director, Media and Publicity, All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Council says the endorsement of Peter Obi, by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, is worthless.
Mr Onanuga said this in a statement in Abuja.
“We read with amusement the endorsement of Mr Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his New Year message on Sunday.
“Following calls by journalists from various media houses who asked for our reaction, we decided to make this preliminary statement, though we didn’t consider the so-called endorsement to be of any value.
“We respect the democratic right of former President Obasanjo to support and endorse any candidate of his choice in any election, except that he made it known formally in his new year message.
“Any discerning political watcher in Nigeria knows that Chief Obasanjo’s preference for Peter Obi is expected,” he said.
This, he said, was especially because Obasanjo had earlier stated his position in various public events, the last being at the 70th birthday of Chief John Nwodo, a former President of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Enugu.
Mr Onanuga said that Bola Tinubu, the APC 2023 presidential candidate would not lose sleep over Obasanjo’s endorsement because he was notorious for always opposing progressive political forces.
He said that the former president did the same against MKO Abiola in the 1993 presidential election.
“The endorsement is actually worthless because the former president does not possess any political goodwill or leverage anywhere in Nigeria to make anyone win a councillorship election.
“Let alone win a presidential election, he is a political paperweight, he is also not a democrat anyone should be proud to be associated with,” Onanuga said.
He said that in 2003 and 2007 general election when Obasanjo was a sitting president, he used all coercive instruments of state at his disposal to railroad people into elective offices against the will of Nigerians.
This, Mr Onanuga said, was as expressed at the poll, adding that in 2007, Obasanjo declared the poll a do or die affair after he failed in his bid to amend the Constitution to have a third term.
“From our records, former President Obasanjo has not successfully made anyone win an election in Nigeria since then.
“Not even in Ogun can anyone rely on his support or endorsement to become a governor or councillor.
“We pity Peter Obi as we are confident that Obasanjo can not win his polling unit and ward in Abeokuta for Obi in the coming presidential election on Feb.25, 2023.
“Chief Obasanjo’s endorsement is not a political currency Mr Peter Obi can spend anywhere in Nigeria because he is not a political force, even in his part of the country,” Onanuga said.
He said that Obasanjo similarly endorsed Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in 2019 against President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Atiku was walloped by Buhari with a wide margin in the election, history will repeat itself in February as our candidate Asíwájú Bola Tinubu will equally beat Obi by a large margin.
“We take a particular notice of the part of the endorsement statement where Chief Obasanjo said none of the presidential candidates is a saint.
“We want to state here that Chief Obasanjo is not a good judge of character, he is a man who considers only himself as the all-knowing Saint in Nigeria.
“Over the years, Chief Obasanjo has also convinced himself that integrity, honesty and all good virtues begin and end with him,” Onanuga said.