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Politics of Sunday, 15 January 2023


2023: Another candidate woos Obasanjo, wants him to dump Obi

Former President Obasanjo Former President Obasanjo

The former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, may have declared his support for the presidential ambition of Peter Obi, but another candidate believes he can convince Mr Obasanjo to change his mind.

On Saturday, Adebayo Adewole, the presidential candidate of the
Social Democratic Party (SDP), met with Mr Obasanjo at the latter’s home in Abeokuta.

After the closed-door meeting, Mr Adewole told journalists that one of his aims was to convince Mr Obasanjo to back his presidential ambition.

“About the endorsement of Peter Obi by Obasanjo, Baba is also a Nigerian, a free person who has the right to his mind. The election is still far.

“The essence of democracy is getting people to change their minds and it is a continuous exercise,” he said.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Obasanjo, in a new year day open letter, endorsed the candidacy of Mr Obi of the Labour Party.

The former Nigerian leader said he believes Mr Obi, a former Anambra State governor, was the best among the 18 candidates seeking to be Nigeria’s president in next month’s election.

Before endorsing Mr Obi, other candidates, including Bola Tinubu of the APC and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, had also sought Mr Obasanjo’s support.

Mr Obasanjo governed Nigeria as democratically elected president on the PDP platform but has since announced that he has quit partisan politics.

Although Mr Obasanjo declared support for Mr Obi, he has said he would not join the candidate’s campaign train.

SDP’s Visit

On Saturday, Mr Adewole was accompanied on his visit to the former president by the governorship candidate of the party in Ogun State, Anthony Ojeshina.

The candidate described Mr Obasanjo as someone all Nigerians respect. He said he discussed the growth of his party, SDP, with the former president.

“Our discussion with him is basically about to make our party more stronger and we are at right direction. Baba is of the view that the solution to Nigeria’s problems will not come from the old parties, will come from the new parties.”

Mr Adewole indicated that Mr Obasanjo only gave him a general response.

“He said we should do our best, wish us well and he will give us assistance as given to any other person both in Nigeria and outside.”

“Our purpose is to come to Ogun State to do rally for our party, to see the traditional rulers and we can’t come here without seeing Baba Obasanjo. We always gain from him because we learn a lot about governance, about how Baba is still working hard and we are more encouraged that we are on the right path,” he said.