Not many people know that former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is one of the big men supporting Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
He is one of the big men who shortly after Peter Obi emerged as the Labour Party, came out to openly embrace him.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo does not like APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for personal reasons.
He also does not like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, his former Vice President, also for personal reasons. But he tells those close to him that Peter Obi, he can still accommodate. He believes he can use Peter Obi to scuttle the chances of Tinubu and Atiku in the forthcoming 2023 presidential race.
He feels if he throws his weight behind Obi and he gets the owners of Nigeria to back up Obi, he will win the elections.
Obasanjo has always argued that he is a detribalized Nigerian. He has always insisted that for him, he sees himself first as a Nigerian, than a Yoruba.
When Peter Obi visited him, not too long ago, behind closed doors, OBJ was said to have advised him to visit former President Ibrahim Babangida and Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar in Minna to canvass for their buy-in.
He also advised that Peter Obi should throw his net wide enough to other zones so as to be able to galvanise massive support for his presidential bid. This advice Peter Obi has heeded and he has been reaching out to key political figures in the North and the South-West.
He has also not left out his zone, the East.
Why is OBJ supporting Peter Obi? It is for various reasons, revealed an insider. “Obasanjo actually believes he can single-handedly stop Tinubu and Atiku from becoming President”, revealed this politician who is close to Obasanjo. City People also gathered that he has a deep-seated animosity for both Atiku and Tinubu.
He does not like Atiku. And he does not hide it. He does not like Tinubu also and he has not hidden that fact.
His pain is that as VP, it was Atiku that rallied all the governors and key players in the PDP against his 3rd term bid. It took OBJ pleading with the then governors, like James Ibori, late Alamieyesigha, Orji Kalu & Co. for them to have a rethink. He felt it was Atiku that spearheaded the anti-3rd term campaign underground, because he, Atiku wanted to run for Presidency with the backing of the governors.
Revealed an insider, it was very easy for Atiku to rally support for his own presidential bid because he coordinated all the governors, and the office of the VP was the clearing house for all the governors who served at that time. That gave Atiku, a one-on-one rapport with all the governors, At that time, Atiku enjoyed cult followership among the governors.
All these are the reasons, OBJ can’t forgive Atiku who he felt betrayed his trust. And he has not forgiven him to date.
To punish Atiku, he engineered the campaign that Atiku is a corrupt politician and went ahead to vilify Atiku in his Memoirs titled Under My Watch, where he took several pages to make damaging allegations against Atiku.
As for Tinubu, OBJ feels Tinubu has also shown him great disrespect over the years, especially when, OBJ was Nigeria’s President for 8 years. He has always seen Tinubu as a rebel, City People gathered. And many years after the incident that led to Tinubu taking the federal government, under OBJ, to court over the seizure of local government funds and allocations to Lagos State, OBJ has still not forgiven Tinubu, for having the effrontery to drag him to court, in his capacity as President, and for the victory, Tinubu got in court.
City People gathered that both Tinubu and Atiku are not losing sleep over OBJ’s support for Peter Obi. They believe that OBJ’s support has little or no electoral value. They also believe that ultimately, what will determine who wins the 2023 presidential elections is the popularity of all the candidates, across the various geo-political zones and not the support of elder statesmen whose much-talked-about influence can’t lead to votes.
WHY OBJ DOESN’T LIKE TINUBU
Have you noticed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo does not like APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu? Have you noticed that he has never said anything good about Tinubu? Have you also observed that since Tinubu started his presidential campaign, he has had nothing positive to say?
Did you also notice that since Tinubu began his nationwide consultations, he has not visited OBJ in Abeokuta? Revealed an insider, at least Tinubu has visited Abeokuta twice, but he did not drop by to visit OBJ or to formally inform him of his decision to run for the presidency.
If you have noticed all these and you don’t know why we can tell you the reason.
City People gathered that it is because OBJ does not like Tinubu and he has not hidden his feelings. According to a political analyst, although OBJ usually does not directly attack Tinubu in his public speeches, he always refers to him in veiled terms.
Tinubu also has learnt to always ignore OBJ, who he knows does not like him.
Why does OBJ dislike Tinubu? City People recently spoke to a close friend of Obasanjo who revealed that it is because he feels Tinubu is too stubborn to handle. And that Tinubu has shown him disrespect for years.
Their rift dates back to 1999 when Tinubu became the Governor of Lagos and Obasanjo the President.
From day one, Tinubu had always been the leader of the progressive governors along with the likes of Chief Bisi Akande in Osun State. He has also been the one galvanising the South-West governors of that era. OBJ didn’t quite like the fact that he couldn’t win Tinubu to his side. No wonder, for the 8 years that both of them were in power their relationship was at best frosty.
To punish Tinubu, OBJ made sure he starved Lagos State, over which Tinubu superintended, of funds. And it was the stoppage of Lagos Stae allocations that brought them into open confrontation and Tinubu’s Lagos State dragged the federal government to court. And he won.
OBJ did not like this confrontational posture. The military man in him repulsed this”, revealed an insider.
There was an incident that happened at the Lekki Free Trade Zone many years back, revealed a source. When OBJ was President. Tinubu invited Obasanjo, as President to attend the launch of the project. Tinubu’s late mum was in attendance. In her capacity as the Iyaloja General, she was asked to make a speech, which she did. In her speech, she admonished OBJ to draw her son (Tinubu) near, and take him as his junior brother. He pleaded with OBJ to sheathe the sword and resolve all the animosities he has with Tinubu. OBJ smiled, and took the microphone immediately she concluded and responded by saying Alhaja Habibatu Mogaji should also tell her son to behave and respect him, as his elder brother. He said Tinubu is too stubborn. Of course, Asiwaju Tinubu, in his capacity as Governor also responded to OBJ and said that if OBJ accuses him of being stubborn, the same can be said of OBJ who is also very stubborn, rigid and unforgiven.
He said that he took that trait from OBJ. The audience could not help but burst into laughter.
City People gathered that when he was Governor of Lagos State, Tinubu was one of the serving governors who stood up to the dictatorial tendencies of OBJ.
Till today, he has not forgiven Tinubu for his confrontation stance. Over the years, they have had other clashes which have further escalated their differences.
VP OSINBAJO’S CAMPAIGN STRUCTURE IN RIVERS STATE HAS TAKEN OVER
High Chief Sunnie Chukumele, the Rivers State-born UNIPORT Sociology graduate has taken over the structure of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President and former Presidential aspirant of All Progressives Congress nationwide and collapsed the political pressure groups into All Progressives Grand Alliance-APGA in Rivers State.
High Chief Sunnie Chukumele campaigned seriously for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, a national assignment he took up and set up various units of the VP’s presidential aspiration groups and in Rivers State a palatial edifice was secured at that time. Professor Yemi Osinbajo personally came to Port Harcourt and commissioned the No. 9 Abeokuta Street Garrison D/Line area of Port Harcourt, Rivers State Office.
Today, the APGA Rivers State governorship candidate has taken over the political structure of VP Osinbajo in Rivers State. It was established in the 319 political wards and 23-Local Government Areas of Rivers State. And High Chief Sunnie Chukumele is the one anchoring the political pressure group for Chief Ugo Beke in Rivers State.
The APGA Rivers State governorship candidate is the son of the late Royal Highness Francis Osimini Beke, a popular traditional ruler and philanthropist with heavy investment in Rivers State. In his lifetime, he had 30 children, being a native of Elbrada town in the Emohua Local Government area of Rivers State. The Ikwerre ethnic nationality businessman, Chief Ugo Beke is a 1983 graduate of Buckingham University Buckinghamshire in England where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Science, Law and Economics Combined Honours, as he went into Banking as a Political Economist of note, having worked in 1991 as member of the Committee on Value Added Tax, which was headed by a renowned Economist late Professor Sam Aluko.
As a businessman, Chief Ugo Beke was appointed Manager at BEC Development Company in 1984, immediately after completing his mandatory National Youth Service Corps NYSC at Warri Delta State. He was also employed as Assistant Manager at Merchant Bank of Africa. He was later promoted to a Managerial position. His deep interest in creating jobs led him to establish Eastern Wrought Iron manufacturers of Star Foams, and Hospital equipment, including solid state bedding products and other materials.
The battle to become the Governor of Rivers State is open to all contestants, as he had pledged to pay attention to Wealth creation and establishing Oil & Gas cities across Rivers State. Recently he stated that “Our main focus will be in human capacity building and management of resources to adequately reduce unemployment and insecurity. Our government will also promote vacation jobs as a means of reducing crimes amongst the youths. We will also provide free and qualitative education at all levels of government-owned schools and institutions of higher learning.”
Prince Ugo Beke asserted that “bad government policies, clueless leadership, insensitivity of the privileged class and debased moral values, idleness and lack of jobs account for the rise in crimes in our society. Our government will focus a lot of money and attention on the health of Rivers people.”
He is one of the strong contenders, as APGA as a political party has a strong base in Eastern Nigeria, whereas many residents living and doing business in Rivers State are from South-Eastern Nigeria where APGA has a serving Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo of Anambra State.
Prince Ugo Beke is a sibling to Chief Emeka Beke, Rivers Chairman of APC, who is being rumoured to have defection plans to the PDP.