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We do not hold Tinubu’s health condition against him — Datti Ahmed

From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja

Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed has said that him and his Principal, Peter Obi do not have anything against the All Progressive Congress’ (APC) Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu’s alleged ill health.

He added that good health is a gift from God and that it was not their place to inform Tinubu that he was ill.

However, he urged Tinubu to continue acting as the godfather he had always claimed to be, saying that Nigeria is too big for any person or group.

According to him, “No body has ever heard me speak about the health condition of Bola Ahmed Tinubu or for that matter any other person. And I can speak for His Excellency, Peter Obi, we don’t speak about their personal conditions or any God given talents because there is philosophy behind it. There is morality behind it. I personally believe that the health in any body is bestowed by Almighty Allah.

“When Tinubu could not show up for a variety of events, Obi spoke and he said I hope this gentle man is alright. He expressed that concern.

“I really really hope Tinubu is okay and Peter Obi and myself do not hold him against him that he is not well. The health and strength in Peter Obi and myself are God given. We really sympathize with Tinubu and will not hold it against him.

“However, Nigeria is too great for any individual and group. Bola Ahmed Tinubu claims to be a god father, he can continue to be a god father.

“It is not in our place to tell him that he is sick. If he thinks he can, please be our guess. Come to the field, we beat you.”

The LP Vice Presidential candidate also stated that coordinated efforts by opponents to disparage Obi’s campaign by making untrue accusations and attacking his supporters were doomed to fail.

He expressed dismay that after signing a peace agreement, the APC and PDP Presidential candidates had continued to utilize campaign events to hurl insults and disseminate lies about Obi.

Datti Ahmed also bemoaned the rising number of attacks on party supporters, some of which have resulted in the deaths of party members, most recently the murder of Victoria Chintex, the leader of the Labour Party, in Kaura, Kaduna State.

He pointed out that despite attempts to belittle Obi, the former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, is a successful businessman, a two term Governor, Vice Presidential Candidate in 2019, who subsequently moved to Labour Party.

Datti-Ahmed said, “In the squabble for second and third positions, some erstwhile major political parties appear to have crossed the boundaries of decency to transgress our peaceful activities and our focus on political schedules.

“On the 29th September 2022, an eminent group of statesmen under the aegis of the National Peace Committee, brought together all the Presidential Candidates to sign a Peace Accord, which represents an agreed code of conduct for the 2023 election.

“It is unfortunate that despite the noble objectives of this initiative, disinformation and misinformation about the Labour Party and its candidates have become fashionable in this election season.

“Recently, for example there was a false narrative been spread nationwide that Mr Peter Obi is against the production of oil in the north; nothing could be farther from the truth.

“Peter Obi has repeatedly stated at various local and international fora that the greatest physical asset of Nigeria is the vast rich land in the North, and declared his commitment as a visionary transformative leader to exploit same for the overwhelming benefit of the Nigerian people.

“To the architect of ‘’consumption to production’, oil in the North means more revenue for development, more jobs and opportunities.

“Earlier attempts to discredit the Obi’s candidacy through fabricated allegations of demolition of mosques, internal deportation of Northerners, issuance of ID cards to northerners, and ethic hostilities were all conclusively proven to be false and without basis.

“As if those were not enough, just a few days ago, the presidential candidate of the APC speaking in Delta State, and referring to our presidential candidate, said that it was a disgrace to mention his name.

“While our candidate is quite comfortable with not being mentioned, it is most unpresidential, indecorous and disrespectful from the candidate who claims his turn at Nigerian Presidency.“

The LP Vice Presidential Candidate said, “APCs strategy against Peter Obi now appears very clearly centered on promoting falsehood, in addition to empty and derogatory personal attacks, and of course this is because they can find no contentious points of negativity to push.

“Little wonder that their Vice Presidential candidate has consistently put to shame the noble heritage of the great Bornu Empire, in his unguarded and uncultured public pronouncements, which expose his intellectual laziness and discomfort with empirical facts and arguments.

“Regular insults which have now become his trademark, have not spared the current Vice President whom he directed to go and sell ice cream, nor the former Vice President whom he described as a pure water seller, a noble venture which serves the populace better than a certain white substance.

“It is pertinent to recall how Mr. Shettima at a recent public event belittled Atiku Abubakar’s educational qualification as well as the modest lifestyle of Peter Obi.

“Clearly Mr. Shettima is out of touch with reality and cannot understand that people like Peter Obi who have reached the heights in business and material achievement have long transcended the need for ostentatious display of wealth.“

Addressing Shettima specifically, he said, “We congratulate Mr. Shettima on having improved his dressing, but equally remind him that he needs to improve on his public composure and discipline in communication.

“Shettima is called upon to speak kindly and more responsibly about all personalities if only to uphold long-established standards.

“We cannot also forget his disposition and uncooperative attitude when hundreds of schoolgirls were abducted under his watch as governor in 2014 where he did little to secure them in the first place or facilitate their rapid rescue; a Governor under who education was sustained as ‘forbidden’.

“The circumstances of his emergence as a Candidate in 2011 leaves yet many questions unanswered.

He expressed concerns about the fate of areas designated by security agencies as ungoverned spaces which contain legally delineated polling units.

According to Datti Ahmad, “It is necessary for INEC to clearly address the nation on how it intends to handle the challenge of conducting elections in these areas.

“Over the past few months we have witnessed various attacks on Labour Party Offices, meetings and our members in parts of the country, and even INEC offices have not been spared.

“Just a couple of days ago, Mrs. Victoria Chintex, our vibrant and able Women Leader in Kaura LG of Kaduna State was assassinated while members of her family escaped with injuries.

“Senseless killings have gone on for too long. We call on government within time left to at least make attempts at fulfilling its 2015 promise of securing lives and property, while serving justice to the killers.

He called for the immediate release of Aminu Mohammed, a final-year student of the Federal University Dutse who was arrested and detained over an alleged social media post, about the person of the First Lady.

“We will never as a party condone indecorous speech and disrespect to elders, we wish to remind the Buhari State House that they rode to power on the personal denigration of their opponents and empty promises without slightest clues of good governance.

“Individuals must be free to express themselves freely and any infraction of law be pursued as civil matter and not through high-handed abuse of power. This is not 1984. We lend our voice to the genuine calls for his immediate release.

“We have so far endured the afore-mentioned and have taken remedial actions where necessary and where not we simply ignored. Civility and respect of law must not be read by misguided elements as signs of weakness on our part.

“Consequently these attacks against us are only likely to increase; we must call on authorities to live up to constitutional responsibilities, and on the general public to regard lies, misinformation, and propaganda for exactly what they are.” He said.

He assured that the Obidient Movement under Labour Party will continue to remain faithful to founding principles and the signed Peace Accord just as it equally invites all stake-holders to emulate.

He urged all who have not yet collected their PVCs, to do so without delay, and to follow through, to identify their polling booths, vote, and defend their votes.

Reacting to why the party was delaying the release of its manifesto, he said: “Our manifesto was pushed out very early at the beginning of the campaigns before any other party. However, the rising profile of the Obi movement and the Labour Party became a subject of attack by other parties such that even before the release, others had gone about releasing the manifesto we had not released so it informed us to go back and be more careful about the when and how we release it. So I assure you that very soon we will release it and we will go to the polls with a solid manifesto.”

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