*How endorsements will work for APC’s Bola Tinubu – Analysts
By BASHIR ADEFAKA
Barely 72 hours after former President Olusegun Obasanjo endorsed the Presidential Candidate of Labour Party (LP), Dr. Peter Obi as “my mentee” that “has an edge” ahead others for the 2023 presidency, Niger Delta leader and Nigerian former Federal Commissioner of the military era, Chief Edwin Clark, has followed suit seeing the former Anambra State Governor as a viable solution to tackling the problems plaguing the country.
Chief Clark announced his position at a news briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, premising his endorsement of Dr Obi, who is being promoted by agents including anti-Nigeria unity Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) deeply rooted in their commitment to secession at any available opportunity, on traits he believes are critical to leading Nigeria.
Explaining further, he cited honesty, trust and transparency, all of which he said Mr Obi displayed when he was governor of Anambra State.
Chief Clark called on Mr Obi to tackle the issues of the injustices and environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region if elected as President.
The Ijaw leader’s backing is the second high-profile endorsement to be received by Mr Obi in three days.
The DEFENDER reports that former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, had in his New Year Message on Sunday 1 January, 2023 personally signed by him endorsed Obi for President, adding that Dr. Obi has an edge over all the candidates in the race.
He said, “None of the contestants is a saint but when one compares their character, antecedent, their understanding, knowledge, discipline, and vitality that they can bring to bear and the great efforts required to stay focused on the job, particularly looking at where the country is today and with the experience on the job that I personally had, Peter Obi as a mentee has an edge.
“Others like all of us have what they can collectively contribute to the new dispensation to liberation, restoration, and salvaging of Nigeria.
“One other important point to make about Peter is that he is a needle with thread attached to it from North and South and he may not get lost.”
Chief Obasanjo’s endorsement has sparked strong criticism from other Presidential candidates and their parties with the APC and the PDP faulting him and moving to dismiss the former President’s political influence.
Amid the negative reactions from other contenders and parties, Benue State Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, on Tuesday backed the former President and praised Mr Obi’s qualities.
Governor Ortom’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Terver Akase, in a statement on Tuesday, said the governor “strongly recommends Peter Obi to Nigerians as the man who has the capacity to effectively tackle the economic, security and other challenges facing the country”.
The Governor stated that if he were not a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) he would have personally led Obi’s campaign across the country.
Governor Ortom is one of five aggrieved PDP governors known as G5. The group led by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike also has Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) as members.
The governors have refused to campaign for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, insisting on the removal of the party’s National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, as a condition for revolving the internal dispute in the party.
How endorsements will work for APC’s Bola Tinubu – Analysts
In the meantime, some of the comments coming from public commentators say all the endorsements that are coming will only work in favour of All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and they explained how.
One of them, who was able to drop a word, said: “APC is always a united force but those who are in the opposition are broken in ranks. It is a plus to APC and it will favour Tinubu,” he said.