2023 Presidency: Obi attending churches before ambition, Obidients reply Okowa

The camp of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has said Obi has been attending churches before his presidential ambition and it will be unfair of anybody to accuse him of driving religious sentiments through his frequent presence at different church programmes.

The Obi-Datti Media Office stated at a media conference held on Thursday in Abuja, while reacting to the vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ifeanyi Okowa’s comment that the LP presidential candidate had been visiting churches long before he declared intention to run for the highest office in the country.

WITHIN NIGERIA had reported that Okowa accused the former Anambra State governor of dragging the church into politics for frequently visiting churches.

But the Obidients, a growing movement of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, however, admonished Okowa to focus on marketing himself in place of attempts to brand Obi a bigot.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Obi-Datti media office disclosed that Okowa’s attempts to de-market Obi as practicing primordial, religious and tribal politics was baseless.

The statement partly read, “First, Obi was tagged a mere social media blitz, hanging in the air without structure; second, he was labelled an Igbo and the Indigenous People of Biafra’s irredentist, and now, Okowa, grieved by Obi’s popularity among the lay faithful, says he is fanning religious sentiments.

“The truth is that Obi is a driver of a movement whose membership and support cut across all facets of our national life and any attempts to pigeonhole him into any sector will fail.

“Obi has visited churches even before he became the present run for the Presidency. In July 2021, he was at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Karu, Abuja, to attend the 25th anniversary of a priest and the church erupted when he was introduced. At various weddings in Abuja, Lagos, and, all over the country where he visited, Nigerians celebrated him for what he stood for and what he did when he held public office in Anambra State.

“One of such functions was Dr Okowa’s child’s wedding at the National Ecumenical Conference Centre, Abuja, this year. Celebration of Obi at any public gathering has been there long before he became began to aspire for the presidency.”

The team also drew attention to a recent wedding ceremony held in a Mosque in Kaduna State where Obi was greeted with ovation by his admirers, who thronged the event and made efforts to touch him.

“Obi-Datti Media office is privy to the fact that in most of the top public church appearances of Obi, including a recent Dunamis Church outing in Abuja, Okowa was always invited.

“He either stays away or sends his wife to represent him and because Obi does not like a rep where the people want him, he strives to show presence despite his tight schedule.

“We don’t expect Governor Okowa to join in this fantasy talks but to use every available avenue he has to market himself and his candidate instead of dwelling in gainsaying anything that concerns Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

“Truth which is glaring and known to even Okowa is that the Labour Party candidate is leading a movement that cannot be stopped or distracted by any side talk because it was prompted by long-standing oppression of the people who are about to be liberated with Obi’s message of hope.

“Taking back the country and rebuilding it is a task that is almost certain as there is no going back. The oppressors have forced the oppressed to pull the trigger and there is going back.”

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