The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi has indirectly energised supporters referred to as ‘Obidients’ to continue with their attacks on Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka and other Nigerians critical of the movement.
The Obidients have recently been criticised the renowned playwright following his comments condemning the recent remarks made by Datti Baba-Ahmed, vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party, saying that his remarks contained “fascistic language”.
Recall that the LP’s VP candidate, Baba-Ahmed during an interview with Channels TV, on March 22, 2023, had condemned the declaration of the Independent National Electoral Commission to say that the country has no president-elect despite announcing Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the ‘winner’ of the election.
He further pointed that Tinubu would be leading an unconstitutional government if sworn into office since to him, the APC candidate is yet to meet up with the requirements of the law.
Baba-Ahmed had insisted that the Supreme Court should better ruled in favour of thier Labour Party even when asked what the party would do if the decision of the apex court did not go in its favour.
Reacting after the remarks, Soyinka described the statements as a do-or-die attitude and provocation that went contrary to democratic disposition.
The Nobel laureate added that he had never heard anyone threaten the judiciary on television the way Datti Baba-Ahmed did.
Following Soyinka’s position, Obidients disparaged the poet both on social media and on some mainstream media.
Instead of cautioning them, Obi in a series of tweets backed his supporters and subtly energised them in their attacks against anyone critical of the party or their style of politics.
Though he never mentioned Soyinka’s name, the former Anambra governor on Monday noted he was aware of criticism of the movement by “some of those we long regarded as civic leaders and conscience of our nation.”
He said, “My Obidients, a very happy Holy Month of Easter and Ramadan to you all. As we celebrate the Easter and look forward to a joyous Eid El Fitr, we pray for God Almighty’s guidance, protection and blessings as we face and pass through litany of challenges in our dear country, Nigeria- flawed electoral processes, insecurity, weak institutions, multidimensional poverty, unemployment, inflation, lack of justice, fairness, equity, opportunities and many more. As we reflect on these challenges and look forward to a New Nigeria that is POssible, Datti and I are painfully mindful that for the mere reason of being OBIdient, most of you have suffered vituperations, physical attacks, loss of rights and privileges, hateful trolls, indignities and vexatious fighting words even from some of those we long regarded as civic leaders and conscience of our nation.
“Please bear such attacks as the sacrifices that we are all required to make in order to create a New Nigeria, where justice, equity, fairness, love and prosperity shall reign. Be assured that Datti and I are with you, and that the ongoing unfortunate orchestrated efforts to demarket and delegitimize the OBIdient Movement will fail
“We are fully structured and have remained focused and steadfast in addressing the ills in our nation; while underpinning the supremacy of our Constitution and imperatives of the rule of law. Do not relent; and do not be lured into unnecessary conflicts. Be assured that in the fullness of time, our mission to rescue Nigeria from those engaged in State Capture will come to fruition.
“We are also using all lawful and peaceful means allowed under our laws and constitution to reclaim our mandate to create a New Nigeria that is POssible. Therefore, in all your actions and inactions, I continue to implore you to be law abiding, respectful and peaceful.”
Some of his supporters were quick to comment on Twitter.
For instance, Maristalkword (@maristalkword1) said, “Your excellency sir, we already know that the violence ones taketh it by force, more reason why we engaged in this media war, let them bring it on we are ever ready. No backing off.
RAREBREED (@Loadedbrodah) said, “My president, please don’t worry about us! We are dealing with them and the heat no be here! Them no fit cough!
Another of his supporters, PO’s Election Analyst (@VoteDefenderNG) said, “Omo, APC terrorist party and their criminal gangs are just collecting left, right and center. This one enter wells. Al these orchestrated attempts to delegitimize the movement will fail woefully. Wole Soyinka & Sagay have disgraced themeselves and lost all their goodwill forever
However, Cruscio (@Cruscio) asked Peter Obi to be truthful about the attitude of Obidients, saying, “If you want to be truthful to yourself Sir, it’s “your OBIdients” that have trolled, fought and verbally abused people the most on this blue app.
“If and only if they sold your agenda without being abusive, maybe, just maybe you could have gotten my vote, but then…”