Support Sowore instead of Obi – Ex-Labour Party chair

A former Chairman of the Labour Party, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja chapter, Comrade Che Oyinatumba, has urged Nigerian workers and other citizens to support the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore, instead of the Labour Party flag bearer, Peter Obi, in the 2023 elections.

Oyinatumba, who confirmed his position to our correspondent, Tuesday morning, in a telephone conversation, said he was standing by his words.

In a viral video obtained by The PUNCH, Onyinatumba had said in a programme held last Friday in Abuja, in honour of a late veteran activist, Segun Sango, that people should “do what they are doing to support Obi for Sowore instead.”

“If we are saying it is the structure and getting the workers to mobilise and build Labour Party, we can do the same for Sowore who has a legal tendency to what we believe in than this capitalist called Peter Obi.”

He maintained that Obi would leave the Labour Party once he won the presidential election, adding that it was only easier to rally around Sowore than Obi.

“Now we can agree that if Obi wins this election, he would leave. It would be easier and more manageable for us to rally round a Sowore and his party, or bring him to the Labour Party and give him the structure,” Onyinatumba said.

“It is not true that the Nigerian Labour Congress is reclaiming the Labour Party,” he said, adding that the resolution of the NLC a few days ago did not moblise support for Obi, rather their Kebbi State governorship choice, an All Progressives Congress candidate, wondering why “the NLC would be supporting APC in Kebbi and asking other states to mobilise for Labour Party.”

“The NLC/Trade Union Congress is headed by those who do not share our sentiment. The  NLC is led by those who are looking for jobs and are using Trade Union as a pensionable job, so they are not interested in claiming anything,” he had added in the video.

Meanwhile, in a resolution of the meeting of the National Executive Council of the NLC, dated June 30, 2022, obtained by The PUNCH, it was observed that the NLC leadership, despite canvassing for support for its governorship choice in Kebbi State, Dr Nasir Idris, it had not necessarily thrown weight behind the candidacy of Peter Obi.

The resolution, signed by the President and General Secretary of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, respectively, addressed the 2023 polls, saying “In line with earlier organ decisions, the NEC called on the state structures of the NLC to activate their local government political committees to sensitise workers and the general populace on the need to vote in Labour Party candidates across all elective positions in the 2023 general election; and

“The NLC will organise a mega rally in Kebbi State in support of its Deputy President, Dr Nasir Idris, who has emerged as a governorship candidate in Kebbi State and will also support its Chairperson in Niger State in order to ensure victory at the polls.”

Obi is believed to have garnered much support mainly from South-East citizens, particularly on social media, with a very online-active layer, said by some to be “aggressive” supporters.

However, The PUNCH reported that Peter Obi, had on Sunday, urged his supporters to be tolerant of dissenting views and divergent opinions.

In a series of tweets posted to his verified Twitter page, @PeterObi, the former governor of Anambra State appealed to his supporters to learn from views different from theirs.

While acknowledging that “the frustration and anger in the country” could have been responsible for his followers’ intolerance of dissenting views, Obi appealed that the energy should be channelled positively.

He asked his supporters to express themselves with grace “so as not to precipitately shut doors to future collaborations and sustainable nation-building.”