We’re Not Offended Obi Opposed Obidient Movement Directorate – Labour Party

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Labour Party (LP) says it is not upset by the reaction of the Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, over the controversial creation of the Obidient Movement directorate.

The LP NWC said Obi had the right to express his grievance, adding that there was no plan or contemplation to relieve Obi of his leadership role.

Obiora Ifoh, LP’s National Publicity Secretary, disclosed this to Punch while reacting to the alleged conflict between Obi and the Party.

Obi had last week openly criticised the leadership of the Labour Party over the newly created Directorate of Obidient Movement and disowned the group’s self-styled leader, Marcel Ngogbehei.

In a swift reaction, the Party’s NWC announced that it had rechristened the contentious directorate to reflect the Directorate of Mobilisation and Integration.

Ifoh however said the Party had no hard feelings about Obi’s rebuttal.

Asked why their candidate didn’t air his grievance with the National Chairman, Julius Abure or the NWC before going public, the spokesman declined to comment.

He said, “Why would the party be offended? The LP, as we always, say is united. We are not offended. I mean, if we were offended, we would make a statement in that regard. He is still the national leader of the Labour Party.

“Again, how is what he said an outrage? The national leader of the party just made a clarification, which is clear enough. He said the Obidient Movement is a group of people looking forward to good governance. I agree. He also explained that the Obidient people are not necessarily members of any particular political party. As a matter of fact, you can find Obidients in other political parties.

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“He only advised that instead of having a directorate for the Obidients, we should have converted it to a directorate of mobilisation, which has been immediately corrected. We now have a directorate of mobilisation, which will be inaugurated tomorrow (Saturday). I think his information was very clear enough and we should respect it.”

Yunusa Tanko, Obi’s campaign spokesman, on his part, posited that his principal’s open disapproval should cause bad blood in the Party.

He said, “Sometimes it is normal that things happen like this. Later, you will see a strong bond being established as long as it is the soul of the party that is being salvaged from those who are trying to make it look very bad.

“You may find out that the party will be stronger later on, and where there are frictions, solutions will be found. There is nothing that doesn’t have a solution.”

He also insisted that Ngogbehei and other persons being nominated were not the faces behind the Obidient Movement.

“The position of the Obidient Movement is very clear. They speak in unison and you will find that it is an amorphous organisation that has a strong voice. Everybody who wants good governance knows a thief is a thief. Everybody also knows that this particular government is not prioritising its expenditure and our educational system is in shambles. There is hunger in the land and the dollar has also increased beyond what it’s supposed to be.

“These are things that the Obedient Movement speaks to. They want good governance and they speak in that particular direction. Therefore, every one of them is a leader in his capacity and at the same time a member. This is because they speak with one voice. That was why His Excellency came out and clearly mentioned that there is nobody that is heading them.

“It is only the words of Peter Obi and the dream of a new Nigeria that is bonding this particular Obidient movement strong. I hope you know that even he himself is sometimes challenged by the movement. But again, it is only targeted towards good leadership,” he stated.