The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council on Sunday played down the significance of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s endorsement of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for next month’s election.
Obasanjo had a letter addressed to Nigerians on the New Year celebration, declared his support for the former Anambra State governor in the election.
He described Obi as the best among the politicians vying for the country’s highest political office on February 25.
However, in a statement issued by its Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga, the council declared that the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, would not lose sleep over the development.
It described the ex-president as a political paperweight with no goodwill or leverage to secure electoral victory for anyone in Nigeria.
The statement read: “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 Obi is expected.
“He had earlier stated his position at various public events, the last being at the 70th birthday anniversary of Chief John Nwodo, former President of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Enugu.
“We make bold to say that our party and candidate, Tinubu, will not lose sleep over Obasanjo’s move, as Obasanjo is notorious for always opposing progressive political forces, as he did against MKO Abiola in 1993.
“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. We recall that in the 2003 and 2007 general elections, when he was a sitting president, Obasanjo used all the coercive instruments of the State at his disposal to railroad people into elective offices against the will of Nigerians as expressed at the polls.
“In 2007, he declared the polls a do-or-die affair after he failed in his bid to amend our constitution to have a third term. From our records, former president Obasanjo has not successfully made anyone win an election in Nigeria since then.”
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