Indications have emerged about alleged ongoing frantic attempts by the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25th Presidential election, Mr Peter Obi, forced elected Labour Party Senators and House of Representatives members of the 10th National Assembly to support candidates of his choice.
Details of an alleged clandestine meeting held at a high-end eatery in Wuse II Abuja, and obtained by this newspaper revealed that Peter Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed have allegedly been pushing the party’s incoming legislators to work for former Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari as Senate President, and Muktar Betara Aliyu as Speaker of the House respectively.
A source privy to the meetings told Daily Independent’s correspondent on the condition of anonymity that both Obi and Datti have been at different meetings allegedly pushing them to work against consensus candidates of the APC both in the Senate and the House, noting that their attempts have however, so far met brick walls with the lawmakers-elect.
“First, we met with Datti before now, and he said unequivocally that we can’t vote for Tajudeen Abbas, Akpabio or any other candidates they (APC) are supporting.
“He told us that Abbas was endorsed by the APC to suppress him and Kalu was endorsed to suppress Otti (Abia State Governor). The meeting ended in a stalemate. Chopsticks were the venue,” he said.
Having met a brick wall with the previous attempt, Obi, apparently worried by the feedback from his running mate allegedly called for another meeting on Monday night at a venue in Wuse Zone 5, to further persuade the LP-elected federal legislators on the need to work against anything pro-APC on June 13th.
“Another meeting was held on Monday around Zone 5. Obi was present. He said he was endorsing Yari for SP and Betara for Speaker, and compelled all LP members-elect to vote for Betara and Yari.
“Ideologically, he’s forcing us. If that is the case, there’s nothing new about LP.
“He’s able to get one person away from the Abbas project among us. It’s a female.
“He wants to force us to do what he wants, but no way,” the defiant lawmaker-elect said.
Wondering about Obi’s rationale for allegedly forcing LP lawmakers-elect to do his bidding in an apparent question mark to his “democratic credentials,” the source revealed further saying that “they plan to call us for another meeting this coming weekend, I think on Sunday. It will be said that LP has decided to vote for Yari and Betara.
The bewildered lawmaker-elect also faulted Obi/Datti’s alleged posturing on the Supremacy of the Labour Party on the matter in respect of aspirants who have not shown any regard for the supremacy of their own party.
“He’s telling us that the party is supreme, but how do we support someone that is rebellious against his party?”
“If he calls for division, we’ll have the majority, but he won’t do that.
“At the meeting we held, some of us said we are adults and we should be allowed to make our choices. So, we won’t back down.
“How can Peter Obi whom people are shouting his name up and down as a democrat now turn to be undemocratic?” the lawmaker-elect wondered aloud.
Attempts by this newspaper to get responses from the Obi/Datti campaign Media office proved unsuccessful as the Spokesman of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Dr. Yunisa Tanko said he could not speak on the matter given that he’s been “out of circulation in the last few days.”
Speaking via telephone with Daily Independent National Assembly Correspondent on the allegation, Dr Tanko said: “Unfortunately I cannot speak to you on that because I’ve been out of circulation in the last few days so I don’t have details of the issues unless I find out from them. So why don’t you call me tomorrow for a response,” he said.
However, the reporter informed him that the story was due to go to press because the inexclusive information leaked since Monday night.