Comrade Che Oyinatumba, a former Chairman of the Labour Party for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja chapter, has advised Nigerian workers and the Labour Party that supporting the presidential candidacy of Omoyele Sowore is much better than backing the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
Though Sowore is the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress while Obi is the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Oyinatumba said it is better for Nigerian workers to support the former rather than the latter, whom he described as a capitalist.
Oyinatumba stated this in a video of his address at a programme held last Friday in Abuja, in honour of the late activist, Segun Sango, which was obtained by SaharaReporters on Tuesday.
“I would have rather that we did or we do what we are doing for Peter Obi for Sowore than for Peter Obi.
“If we are saying it is the structure and getting the workers to mobilise and build Labour Party, we can do same for Sowore who has a legal tendency to what we believe in than this capitalist called Peter Obi.”
According to him, it is better for the Labour Party to rally around Sowore and give him the workers’ party structure rather than support Peter Obi, whom he asserted would leave the party once he wins the presidential election.
“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,” Oyinatumba 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 mobilise support for Obi, rather their Kebbi State governorship choice, an All Progressives Congress candidate.
He, therefore, questioned the party for supporting the APC in Kebbi while “asking other states to mobilise for Labour Party.”
“The NLC/TUC 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 added.
PUNCH reports that in a resolution of the meeting of the National Executive Committee of the NLC, dated June 30, 2022, it was observed that the NLC leadership, despite canvassing for support for its governorship choice in Kebbi State, Dr Nasir Idris, had not necessarily thrown weight behind the candidacy of Peter Obi.
However, 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.”
SaharaReporters earlier reported that Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) had said Peter Obi was being misled by someone into taking decisions that would benefit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The former Kano governor described the person as a member of the PDP who is loyal to the party but pushing Obi not to accept to be his (Kwankwaso’s) running mate in the planned alliance between the NNPP and Labour Party.
According to him, having Peter Obi as the presidential candidate in the alliance will give Atiku bloc votes in the North as Northerners will rather vote for a northerner, who they will see as one of theirs, than Obi or any other southeasterner, especially with the current agitation for the state of Biafra in the South-East.
There has been pressure on the NNPP and the Labour Party to work together to produce a presidential candidate between them for the 2023 presidential election. Kwankwaso and the presidential candidate of the Labour Party have admitted that the parties have held talks, but the bone of contention is that the two candidates want to be the presidential candidate in the arrangement.
In an interview with Channels TV on Sunday, Kwankwaso urged Obi to be wary of such a person, whom he said had been expressing his views on social media.
When asked about the planned alliance between Kwankwaso’s NNPP and the Labour Party, the former Kano governor said, “I think that it will happen but I believe also that there are some challenges that we are having, especially from the side of the Labour Party itself because there are so many influences; some on their side, positive, but even the negative side.
“We have a situation today where there are some people who are in other parties, who are also influencing the decision of the party which I believe is not good for the party.
“I was just reading on social media and even people very close to the party that are… The presidential candidate is very close to one of the leaders of the PDP which we are trying to verify but I think the source is very genuine, that is, contacts with him while he is in a party, PDP, supporting the candidature of the presidential candidate from the North in that particular party and of course saying that the presidency must go to the South in the other party, that is, in our alliance and that is really to weaken our party.”
Speaking further on whether it is the Labour Party or the NNPP that voters will be encouraged to vote for in the 2023 presidential election as it is too late to have a merger between the parties, Kwankwaso noted, “I believe so many modalities can be worked out to work together, it is just a matter of getting the right calibre of people to sit down and look at the situation as it is.
“Now, you see, the main issue as it stands today is the issue of who becomes the president, who becomes the vice president and I believe this is the time really to advise, especially those who are positively behind the candidate of the Labour Party.
“For me, I have seen an opportunity for the South-East to be relevant in the next dispensation. In PDP, they are completely out and so also in the APC (All Progressives Congress). The only option now is NNPP.”