Former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said the ‘Obidient’ movement of Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi was seen as a joke by many.
Maku, who spoke at Channels Television programme on Tuesday, said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), underestimated Obi’s supporters during the 2023 presidential election.
“What happened in the presidential election, as you could see, was that there was this wave of young people, the ‘Obidients’ that we all took for granted, and we were thinking Peter Obi was a joke. Where would he go?” Maku said.
“So, both the PDP and the APC, we were thinking, ‘This man does not have structure. He will not be able to do so much.”
Obi did not win the presidential election. He lost to APC candidate Bola Tinubu.
Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP polled 6,984,520 votes while Obi came third with 6,101,533 votes.
Atiku and Obi have since rejected the election result and announced their intent to challenge the conduct of the election in court.
Maku, a PDP leader from Nasarawa State, noted that Nigerian youth seized the initiative to prove both the ruling party and the opposition party wrong and made an unprecedented showing in the 2023 elections.
“But the young people seized the initiative from the politicians. And for the first time – what we saw in Nasarawa, Edo, several other places, and in Delta State where the PDP vice presidential candidate comes from.
“We saw that young people were serious about what they were doing and they took advantage of social media to project a programme which has shaken the nation.”
He added that the PDP lost the presidential election in Nasarawa State to LP but claimed that the ruling APC’s win in the governorship poll was faulty.