‘Obidients’ will work with other parties that have character, competence, says Obi
Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the concluded presidential election, said he and members of the “Obidient” movement will work with any candidate(s) of their choice regardless of their party affiliation in the March 18 elections.
He made this statement during an interview, Monday, adding that his party is focused on building principles, character, competence, and capability from the grassroots up.
“Nigerian politics has been largely transactional, when we started this, people didn’t believe what we were trying to do,” he said. “The consequence is that we didn’t have candidates for the governorship elections in most of the states.”
Speaking further, he said that the party took its time to get good candidates in states that they now believe they can win.
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“In few places, where we are represented, I can say that they are first-class candidates; Ken Pela of Delta State and Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of Lagos State and I believe that they should be supported by the “Obidient” family and the people.”
“Gbadebo has an excellent background and a good education—you can’t have it better than someone who has a degree from MIT,” he added.
Furthermore, he made the clarification that LP’s desire to change the political landscape in the country also implies were the party has no representative, the members will align with opposition party candidates with character, principle, integrity, and capacity.
“In some places, we are going to work with some good candidates,” he emphasised. “For me, it is about having competent, credible people who have proven integrity and can do well. It is not just saying it must be Labour Party always—NO. Where we think we have good people, we will support them because what we are trying to do is to build a new politics that will thrive on character, competence, capacity, and compassion, and telling people the truth always, which was how I got 95 percent in Anambra State.”
Meanwhile, on the issue of the age of the governorship candidate of the Labour Party for the March 18 election in Lagos State, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, Obi disagreed with those discrediting him on the issue of age.
He said that most of Rhodes-Vivour’s critics were only moved by corruption and theft, which is why they based their criticism of him on his age and experience. He shared his experience about how he faced similar objections when he was running to be the governor of Anambra State and how he changed the narrative of the state when he was eventually sworn in.
“Which experience?” Obi asked. “When I was campaigning to be governor of Anambra State, I had never worked in government. I never had anything to do with the government. I faced the same thing when I was his age. I started campaigning in 2003—in 2001, I was just 39—so by the time that election took place, I was 41–42. So I was at that age.”
He criticized those still asking for experience, insisting that it is only the experience of corruption that they are talking about.
“The only experience they can claim is the same experience of corruption, theft, and doing the wrong thing. In fact, at times it is good to bring in somebody who doesn’t have that experience so that he can clean up the mess. I came in without that experience, and when they wanted to teach me that experience, I told them that they were wrong,” he said.