The Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP), on Saturday dismissed the Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research report released on Thursday, which predicted victory for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, in the 2023 presidential election, describing the report as unrealistic.The report also projected that Tinubu’s victory would lead to protests and social instability in the country because of the Muslim-Muslim ticket and the expectations of the followers of the Labour Party’s candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, that would be dashed.
But in their separate reactions, the LP argued that Fitch derived its results from outdated research methods, while the Atiku-Okowa Campaign Organisation said the report was speculative.This is as Obi on Saturday flagged off his presidential campaign at the Government Science School, Lafia, the capital city of Nasarawa State, promising that he would not give excuses for non-performance if elected president in 2023.National Publicity of the LP, Arabambi Abayomi told THISDAY that the Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research failed to carry out thorough research on the true opinions of Nigerians to understand their feelings and frustrations this time around.
Arabambi said the research was carried out without an in-depth understanding of the true feelings of Nigerians, who he said no longer trust the ruling APC that has placed the country’s economy on autopilot.“Like football, permutations no longer win the game and it is not over until it is over. Without going into details of the research which gave victory to the candidate of the APC, I will like to add that the world has moved beyond bookmakers for electoral victory.“A case in point is how the APC fell in Edo and Osun states, despite their rigging machines that have been successful in the past,” he explained.
He commended INEC and the National Assembly for the passage of the amended electoral laws, which he described as a game changer.He said, “with these provisions and increased political awareness among Nigerians, the APC should begin to write its handover notes to Mr. Obi.”Reacting to the claim by Fitch’s report that Obi has no structure, Arabambi cited “the recent election in Kenya, where Raila Odinga fell flat at the poll despite the support from the incumbent, Mr. Kenyatta, who abandoned his vice, Williams Ruto.He said: “The just concluded Kenya elections, women got elected into the parliament and won governorship seats as against the tradition.
“A big shocker awaits the bookmakers as Peter Obi is ready to prove them wrong,” he added.Responding to the claim that Obi has only urban followership, Arambambi cited the acceptance of digital banking by Nigerians across the geopolitical locations and social strata, stressing that “unlike, the followership of the other political parties that are based on financial inducement, those who following the LP is doing it out of conviction and are ready to put their all to see the emergence of Obi as the next President of Nigeria.In his reaction, the spokesman of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan said the Fitch’s report was “merely contrived, imaginary and completely illusory; “It is a trivial opinion of ignorant interlopers which does not conform with any empirical or substantiated indicators regarding the direction of the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria
“While we do not want to conclude on the opinion already widely held in the public space that the report was procured or not emanating officially from Fitch, especially, given the desperation and devious antecedents of the Tinubu Campaign Organisation and the All Progressives Congress (APC), it is, however, important to state that these conjectures are the direct opposite of the reality on the ground,” he explained.He argued that Tinubu cannot face the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar and his running mate and Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.He said: “Contrary to the report being peddled by the APC, Asiwaju Tinubu is battling with trust issues, stamina concerns, massive open rejection by the majority of voters across the country, a mass exodus from his APC into PDP due to the abysmal failures of his party in addition to his (Tinubu’s) confessed selfish motives for being in the presidential race.
“In reality, unlike Atiku Abubakar, Tinubu has no strong, organic and reliable political base anywhere in the country and cannot get the required 25 per cent in the majority of the states of the federation.“Across the north, the APC presidential candidate does not have a stable political structure with the daily decamping of hordes of Nigerians in the region who voted for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and 2019 now crossing over to the PDP to support Atiku Abubakar in the 2023 elections.“In the south, Asiwaju Tinubu has no solid base in the South-South and South East where he has been roundly rejected. Even in the South-west, the former Lagos State governor has been demystified as evidenced in his party’s devastating loss in the last Governorship election in Osun State; a state considered to be his ancestry home, to the PDP,” he explained.Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the LP, Obi has flagged off his campaign and promised that his administration would deliver Nigeria from the deceit and failure of the ruling APC and the PDP when he emerged president in 2023.Obi said he would tackle unemployment and insecurity to pave the way for economic growth and development if voted into power.
The presidential candidate also pledged to create jobs for youths to lift them off poverty and deprivation.He also promised to support agriculture in Nasarawa State to ensure food sufficiency and food security.Obi argued that “it will be disastrous to vote either APC or PDP given the untold suffering the two bad governments of corruption have put Nigerians into.He promised the people of Nasarawa State and Nigerians that the government of the Labour Party will return farmers to their farms without fear of being killed or their farms destroyed.He, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to reject money-sharing candidates who come to seek their votes in 2023.“I and Ahmed Datti will not steal your money. We will not disappoint you; vote for us,” Obi added.He lamented that Nigerians were suffering because of the kind of leaders occupying government offices, adding that the prices of foodstuffs and other goods in the markets will drop if he wins the presidential election in 2023.
He said: “If you vote for the Labour party in 2023, we will address the persistent farmers/herders clashes in Nasarawa State and the farmers will go back to their farms. We will tackle the state of insecurity bedevilling the entire nation.
“We will lift the youths out of poverty. We will reduce criminality. We will solve the flood problem ravaging the country. The prices of goods will come down and there will be no challenges to food in the country.”
“When the LP wins, there will be no more strikes in the Nigerian universities. The government will comprise youths and women. We will provide fertilizers to farmers across the nation,” he explained.
He said if elected in 2023, his government would move Nigeria from consumption to production and job creation.
Nigeria Can’t Be Handed over to Sick Leaders in 2023, Says LP Chairman
Also speaking during the campaign, the National Chairman of the LP, Mr. Julius Abure, stated that Nigeria cannot be handed over to “sick leaders” in 2023.The LP chairman said the challenges faced by the country is as a result of poor leadership.“All the challenges we have been having in the country are zeroed down to leadership problems,” he said.“Today, the country is sick. It is sick from insecurity; it is sick from unemployment; the economy is not working.“If you put everything together, the country is sick and we cannot hand it over to sick people.“We need vibrant, young, energetic people who can be awake day and night to solve the problems of the country and we have that person.
“We also need somebody who has character, integrity -somebody that will not take our money abroad.”“Our presidential candidate is strong. We need an energetic and vibrant person because the nation has been suffering from economic hardship due to the wrong choice of candidate,” he added.In a welcome address, the Nasarawa State chairman of the LP, Alexander Emmanuel, thanked the leadership of the party for choosing the state as the venue for the presidential campaign flag-off.He promised to canvass more support for Obi across the 13 LGAs in the state.
Chuks Okocha, Emameh Gabriel in Abuja and Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia