'Obi, Atiku political merchants, can’t resolve Nigeria’s challenges'

Mr Peter Obi and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Peter Obi of Labour Party (left) and Atiku Abubakar of PDP

A chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, Salihu Lukman has described Peter Obi, Atiku Abubakar, and Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidates of Labour Party, LP, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP respectively as political merchants who can’t resolve Nigeria’s challenges.

Lukman who is the North-West Chairman of APC said this while denying the claim that he is supporting Peter Obi, instead of Bola Tinubu, the candidate of his party for the February 25 presidential election in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

Lukman affirmed that Tinubu was his choice for the forthcoming elections because of his outstanding leadership qualities.

Lukman also appealed to supporters of the LP presidential candidate, widely known as Obidient to honestly recognise the shortcomings of Obi as a politician and his political party.

He said this will be important in convincing Nigerians that they are engaging the contest also as a strategy to reform both the person of Obi and the organisation of LP as a political party.

According to him, so far, Obi’s characteristics was that of a typical Nigerian politician who was more of an election merchant presenting himself every four years for election, even if it meant changing political party.

He said being an election merchant connotes obvious lack of commitment and discipline to any political party.

This, Lukman said, partly explained why Obi moved from All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) to PDP and now LP between 2015 and now.

“While it is important to recognise the legitimate disappointment of Nigerians with our leaders and the state of the nation, it will remain a fallacy to imagine that a simple choice of a typical election merchant can resolve Nigeria’s challenges.

“Not just Obi, any other politician with the characteristics of changing political parties for the purpose of contesting elections, such a person is not what Nigeria needs today.

“Without prejudice to my respect for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate and Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso, they are both in the same category with Obi,” he said.

He recalled that Atiku had been either a presidential candidate or an aspirant in every election in different parties since 2007.

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He also recalled that Kwankwaso had moved from PDP to APC, back to PDP between 2015 and 2019, before finally forming the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in 2022 and presented himself as the party’s presidential candidate for 2023 election.

Lukman noted that out of all the leading presidential candidates for the Feb. 25 presidential election, the only one that had never left his party was Tinubu.

He said he would work round-the-clock to ensure the victory of Tinubu and other APC candidates in the 2023 general elections, adding that he could not be working for any other presidential candidate.

“A close friend and comrade recently asked me if I am Obedient, suggesting that I am supporting Mr Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP).

“To say the least, I was very dismayed that anyone could imagine I will support any candidate other than Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“I may excuse any person if he or she is meeting me for the first time,” Lukman who was the immediate past Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) said.

He said as a member of the APC, he would campaign for all the party’s candidates while at the same time respecting candidates of opposition parties.
Lukman said people were free to make their choices which should be respected.

“Many of us in APC are supporting Asiwaju as part of our ongoing campaign to continue to build the APC as a progressive party, capable of producing accountable elected representatives at all levels.

“He is the only one that although he has been a national political leader since he left office as Lagos State Governor in 2007 that is presenting himself for the first time as a presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.

“He is the only contestant who together with other leaders of APC envisioned the political roadmap for the defeat of PDP.

“Together with President Muhammadu Buhari they provided the inspirational leadership that successfully negotiated the emergence of APC in 2013,” Lukman said

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