Razaq Abubakre, a former federal commissioner, says Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi is a “spoiler” who could not defeat President-elect Bola Tinubu in the February 25 election because the APC flag bearer was divinely backed.
Mr Abubakre, a former vice-chancellor of Al-Hikmah University Ilorin, stated this in an interview in Abuja on Friday, alleging that Mr Obi’s lacklustre performance as former Anambra governor worked against him.
He claimed that Mr Obi’s inability to build leaders was part of his undoing, unlike Mr Tinubu, who has inspired several leaders nationally and internationally.
He further stated that the allegation of tribal jingoism against Mr Obi during his governorship tenure against non-Igbo-speaking Nigerians was part of his albatross.
“Some of his activities, performance and attitude in synchrony to those of some of his followers, the ‘Obidients’, reveal their latent parts. His use of religion in contradistinction to Asiwaju’s Muslim-Muslim ticket gave him a transient false national spread,” Mr Abubakre asserted.
He added, “His alleged impropriety with state funds, as confirmed during an interview with Kadaria Ahmed that he invested state funds in his family business, is also part of his undoing.”
The former federal commissioner for the Public Complaints Commission for Osun (2012 and 2018) recalled the simile employed by Rabiu Kwankwaso, the NNPP presidential candidate, during his speech at the Chatham House, London, that Mr Obi’s electoral fortune was like the foam of Andrews Liver Salts that comes with power and disappears almost immediately.
“This is quite apposite to describe his eventual performance, especially during the elections of state governors and house of assemblies (sic). Unfortunately, desperation is not a good manner,” Mr Abubakre stressed.
He said he could not endorse the permutation that if all the other contestants whose origin was PDP, such as Atiku, Obi and Kwankwaso, joined forces, PDP would have probably won the presidency.
“This is undermining the divine intervention favouring Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu ab initio. The pattern of voting could have changed. For example, the bulk of votes that Obi received from the South-East, parts of South-South and pockets of North-Central could not have gone to Atiku,” Mr Abubakre asserted. Some of it would have also been cast for Tinubu on his merit and record of performance.”
He said the internal evidence of this claim is the undiminishing successes and superiority of the APC in all the elections, such as national assembly, gubernatorial elections and state assemblies, despite the global economic challenges.
“In sum, Peter Obi just came as a spoiler with his mountainous social media following,” Mr Abubakre alleged.
According to him, Mr Tinubu’s superiority lies in his excellent performance record as Lagos governor and his cosmopolitan outlook spread nationally and with global ramifications.
“It is instructive to note that Tinubu’s emergence is divine and critical when the nation needs a true unifier, a performer par excellence and a strategic leader focused on nation-building for sustainable and inclusive growth,” Mr Abubakre stated.