EXCLUSIVE: The Many False Claims of Peter Obi, OBIdients Threatening LP’s Presidential Chances
By Kabir Akintayo,
The man, Peter Obi, no doubt, is the rave of the moment, particularly on social media. The fans and followers of the Labour Party’s (LP) presidential aspirant, are referred to as ‘OBIdients’.
Ironically, the coined name does not reflect the character of the group, especially on social media. It’s more of occultism, where those who belong see others who do not subscribe to their society, as the enemy. It is either Obi or nothing. Unfortunately, their voices echo more than a thunderous strike.
The major focus of this report is the fake news being peddled by the followers and the inaccuracy of the candidate himself ‘Peter Obi’. Many of the news emanated from ‘Obidient’ have been proven to be fake, especially, the attribution of support to some distinguished personalities, which has been disregarded by the majority.
Although, not until recently, when the public was overwhelmed with this fake news, the Labour Party held a conference, to dispute many of the news emanated from its people, asking the populace to disregard any information about Peter Obi’s aspiration.
The vice presidential candidate of (LP) Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, who chaired the event, claimed many accounts on social media have been operating in his name, accusing the opposition party of orchestrating the act. He called on the public to disregard news from these particular accounts.
Also, in a tweet by Peter Obi himself, he appealed to his followers to allow him to respond to any social media attacks from his opponent, a message that does not go well with the ‘OBIdient.
Obi said “I most sincerely appreciate all my supporters and those of LP. I love you all. I wish to appeal to you to allow me to personally respond to any CANDIDATE that makes comments about me, while you concentrate on issues to promote our cause of moving our dear Nigeria from consumption to production, create jobs, and generally evolve a better Nigeria,” Peter Obi tweeted”
Even the Director General (DG) Peter Obi Campaign Organization, Doyin Okupe, issued a stern warning to some of Obi’s supporters, to stop spreading fake news about his principle aspiration. Okupe issued the warning after the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, debunked the news that he has endorsed Peter Obi’s presidential ambition.
However, Obi himself is a fake news peddler, who on many occasions misled the public with false claims. He has, several times contradicts his words, either during interviews, events, or public addresses.
For example, in 2018, the former governor claimed in an interview with Arise TV that he invested over $20 million in International Breweries on behalf of Anambra state and that the investment was worth almost $100 million at the time.
In the viral interview, Obi had said, “Tomorrow, they are commissioning a facility in Sagamu, International Breweries, and the biggest brewery in Africa. Anambra state is the single highest shareholder in that facility, I invested in it – over 20-something-million dollars. It is worth almost $100 m today, that’s what governments should do.”
While the governor of the state, Prof Charles Soludo debunked the claim accredited to him, he said “Where did you read or hear me make such a false statement? This fake news has been roundly debunked by my team.
“We can carry on with campaigning for our preferred candidates without consciously misleading the reading public. The report is fake and never emanated from me. Thank you’’, Soludo said.
PRNigeria, a credible news outlet, did some fact checks on Peter Obi. It claimed that some statement made on a program ‘Politics Today, hosted by Seun Okinbaloye, on Channels T.V, played a host on Peter Obi, where he made some assertion, that he was the first sitting governor to be impeached and reinstated, a statement that was found not to be true.
PRNigeria revealed that Oyo state’s former governor, Abdulrasheed Oladoja was the first governor to be impeached and reinstated by the court of law in 2006.
The verdict claimed;
More than any politician in the current democratic experience, Peter Obi has enjoyed the grace of the court to restore his mandate twice as governor of Anambra State. In 2003, Obi contested the Anambra State governorship election as a candidate for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) party, but his opponent, Chris Ngige of the People’s Democratic Party, was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He would later endure almost three years of litigation to get his mandate back after Ngige’s victory was overturned by the Court of Appeal on 15 March 2006. Obi became governor of the state on 17 March 2006.
But his reign was short-lived when on November 2, 2006, he was impeached by the State House of Assembly after seven months in office and was replaced the next day by Virginia Etiaba, his deputy, making her the first-ever female governor in Nigeria’s history. He challenged the impeachment and was reinstated by Nigeria’s apex court on February 9, 2007.
However, records on Wikipedia, ICIR Nigeria, and Infomedia NG show that on January 12, 2006, Rashidi Ladoja was impeached as the Governor of Oyo State by the Oyo State House of Assembly. He challenged his impeachment, and on November 1, 2006, the Appeal Court in Ibadan reinstated him, declaring the process of his impeachment null and void. Ladoja officially resumed office on December 12, 2006.
Another error committed by Peter Obi was when he recently claimed that the National Basketball Association (NBA) has almost 100 Nigerians. “If you go into the American NBA, out of 150 players, almost 100 are Nigerians.” Mr. Obi said.
Meanwhile, PRNigeria fact-checked the claim and found it misleading.
Verification: Data sourced from the official website of the NBA and RealGM, one of the Web’s most popular and well-respected sports sites and offers users all the data on sports, shows that in the 2021/2022 season, only 5 of the players were Nigerians. However, in the current 2022/2023 season, only 10 of the players are Nigerians while 10 other players are originally Nigerians but are American citizens.
Records also show that the NBA has approximately 450 players and not 150 as claimed by Peter Obi.
While the supporters keep misleading the public with a series of fake news, truth has equally been prevailing, making the general public to be wary of any report emanating from ‘OBIdient’.
Recently, the pan-Yoruba socio- organisation, Afenifere, urged Nigerians to disregard information from any social media account claiming to belong to Pa Ayo Adebanjo, after the ‘OBIdients’ broke the news that Chief Adebanjo declared support for Peter Obi.
The organisation’s National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, quickly released a statement that the Twitter account which some electronic and online media quoted from did not belong to Adebanjo or any of the Afenifere leaders.
“It is hereby being clearly stated that Chief Adebanjo has no social media account of any sort, be it Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
“Whenever he has anything to say to the public, he does so directly by addressing the press, through an interview or a press statement. He also addresses the public through the Secretary-General or the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere,” Ajayi said.
The statement added that the social media account was created by mischievous persons for nefarious objectives, as could be gleaned from one of the posts purporting to explain why Adebanjo is supporting Mr. Peter Obi in the forthcoming presidential election in 2023 instead of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a Yoruba man”.
Last but not the least, was the false allegation on the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG) Pastor Enoch Adeboye, that the popular cleric endorsed Peter Obi when members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) paid him a courtesy call at his residence in Lagos state.
He was allegedly quoted as saying “In the past, I have supported all the candidates that sought my support, but today, I’m calling on all and sundry to rally round and support the emergence of Mr. Peter Obi of Anambra state ahead of the next general election.”
However, Adeboye’s son, Leke Adeboye on his Twitter page described the report as ‘fake news.
He wrote, “FAKING NEWS!!! Jobless people. (Their brain must be on lockdown.)
“PASTOR E. A ADEBOYE ENDORSE PETER OBI, AS THE NEXT NIGERIAN PRESIDENT?
“Adeboye has not left the redemption camp for the CAN meeting since November 2019) so try another lie,” Leke tweeted.
To this end, the implication of all these hullaboloo from the ‘OBIdients’, is that the world will not take seriously, anything from them, and even their principal, Peter Obi will perhaps not be considered a serious candidate to beat. But my only fervent prayer is that he will not be referred to as a ‘Joker’ in the end.