In this interview with ADELEKE ADESANYA, the Director General of Peter Obi Support Network, Jones Owuasoanya, said many top politicians from major political parties are working underground to ensure the victory of the presidential candidate of Labour Party. He spoke on other pressing issues concerning the coming general elections.
Support for Peter Obi has continued to gain massive acceptance. As the Director of Peter Obi Support Network, do you see this support translating to success in 2023?
I believe that victory is certain as long as Nigerians are allowed to vote and it counts, Peter Obi will emerge successful in 2023. Peter Obi represents many Nigerians who have been victims of bad governance over the years. So, his candidacy incites Nigerians. The only people not supporting him are politicians who benefit from the decadent system we have today. As long as Nigerians are concerned, Peter Obi is the hope for a better Nigeria. As long as the election is free, fair and credible, Peter Obi is going to emerge as the next president.
Do you have trust in INEC and the new electoral act to make the election free, fair and credible?
We’ve had laws in the country that are not being implemented. For instance, we have laws against corruption and robbery etc and these laws have been disobeyed by people meant to implement them. Recently there has been accusations from people including the network raising alarms over INEC’s insistence on stopping the continuous voters registration exercise. It should continue to at least 90 days before the election but INEC stopped the exercise more than six months before the general election. Millions of Nigerians have been deprived of their rights to cast their vote because of INEC.
Do you see this as a rigging in disguise ahead of the election?
Most of the new people registering are supporters of Peter Obi, So, when you stop the new registers from voting, the rigging is already ongoing. We cannot have full faith in INEC to conduct a free and fair election, we can only wait to be proved wrong.
What measures have your organisation taken to hold INEC responsible and make them deliver a fair judgment?
We are doing a lot but most of our strategies can’t really work, we are embarking on various voter education campaign. People who are politically educated are able to man polling booths on behalf of Labour party. We are also insured legally as some of our members are in courts against INEC trying to compel the commission to continue the continuous voter registration so millions of people can still register.
The oppositions, and some Nigerian politicians keep saying that Labor Party and Peter Obi supporters are only on social media, and that elections are not conducted on social media. What efforts have you put in place to prove them wrong?
Well, it is affirmed that there are people supporting this on social media. You cannot say that what people post on social media does not count, they are human beings and they would eventually go to polling booths and cast their votes. They are also campaigning to people through this medium. There is no election that can be won without social media. The social media age is a communication age and all leaders should not take it lightly. You need to understand what era you are in to lead well. If you are ahead on social media it means you are ahead in the main election. They have indirectly admitted defeat.
There are allegations that Peter Obi is being used to divide Southern votes in Atiku’s interest. How true is this?
People saying this are mischievous and ignorant. Peter Obi cannot be used by anybody. He should not be taken for granted. When he started, people ignored him. Now they are saying he is being used to divide votes. They are finally admitting that he is a major threat. Nigerians are the ones pushing and driving his campaign for him. He cannot be used and, he will win the election.
Recently Peter Obi said he will not probe corrupt leaders if he emerges as the president in 2023. How do you think Nigerians expecting change will feel about this?
Saying that does not mean he will scrap EFCC,ICPC , He means that he will not interfere with ongoing probes or inference the agencies to witchunt any past leader. He is going to make sure if he fulfils his mission.
We have seen Peter Obi and Wike together on different occasions. Is there any veracity that Wike is coming to join him in the Labour Party?
The new Nigerian project piloted by Peter Obi is not fully a partisan project. We have supporters across various political parties. There are ongoiing secrets and public meetings that are not reported in the media. There are a lot of people propelling this project and Nigerians would be shocked when it is all revealed. I cannot speak for Wike but I can say various political leaders are supporters of this project.
It is a nonpartisan project, anybody can support Peter Obi. People in different political parties are allowed to support him. People are doing their best to ensure the best possible leader wins, and that is Peter Obi.
A meeting was held in Lagos with Peter Obi, southern and middlebelt leaders. Many conditions were given to him. Some of them include restructuring the country, establishing state police. Do you think this is possible?
Peter Obi will fulfill every promise he makes, every commitment he enters. He’s going to ensure Nigeria progresses at the right speed. He is going to ensure state police, which will go a long way in solving security. Whatever commitment he makes he will fulfill. He is a product of the masses.