By Adeyemi Adeleye
The Labour Party (LP) popular social crusader, Mr Charles Oputa (Charly Boy) and other activists on Saturday, led a five million-man solidarity march for LP Presidential Candidate, Mr Peter Obi and his running mate, Sen. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that all supporters and fans of Obi converged at the National Stadium for the political rally with long convoy and walked through Ikorodu road before terminating the rally at Maryland (Freedom Tunnel).
The massive crowd grounded free flow of traffic on Ikorodu road as they hoisted various banners and chatted various solidarity songs to seek support for Obi and other LP candidates in the 2023 general elections.
It was gathered that Obi’s supporters also converged at Ikeja, Lekki and Amuwo-Odofin in large numbers to drum support for the former Anambra governor.
Leading the rally, Oputa said it was to awaken the consciousness of Nigerian youths on the need to be involved in decision making processes for good governance.
“This rally talks about good governance and active citizenship. Young people are partially to be blamed for the challenges in the country, because they have been a little bit docile and felt unconcerned.
“Like I keep saying, we cannot leave politics to the politicians alone, it is not possible. But I am glad that at least in my life time, I am seeing young people’s consciousness reawakening.
“For me personally, it is about good governance because whoever wins, if young people are still not committed to holding them (political class) accountable, will go to the old ways. So, I am impressed with the turnout.
“Of course, I am sympathetic toward Labour Party and Obi, but this march is about good governance and active citizenship. The future belongs to young people and they should take charge,” Oputa said.
Addressing the supporters at Maryland, Mr Olukayode Salako, the Lagos State Chairman of LP said that the rally had brought a huge joy of fulfilment to his heart and labour party family.
Salako said that with the huge turnout of youths for the rally, the party was sure of delivering massive votes to Obi and take over leadership in Lagos state in 2023.
He urged all the teeming supporters to ensure that they collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and continued to mobilising people at the grassroots for the Labour Party.
According to him, the LP governorship candidate in Lagos state, Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is ready to make Lagos work more for all residents as against a few political class.
He said that the rally was organised in collaboration with independent support groups, civil liberty organisations, social crusaders and fans of the OBI-DATTI presidential project.
Also speaking, Bishop James Okocha, President, Christian Ministers Universal Forum and Vice President for Initiative for Better and Brighter Nigeria (IBBN) said: “We join this rally because we have been dreaming of a nation we can proudly call our own.
“When we look at the resources we have, we believe if we have the right leadership, things will turnaround for better for all citizens from North to South.
“We see Obi as someone with competence, capacity and character to lead us to greater heights.”
Also speaking, Mr Wale Okunniyi, a civil activist and one of the leaders of the National Consultative Front (NCFront), described the turnout as impressive, urging the supporters to go from house to house mobilising for Obi.
Okunniyi said that the rally again showed the reality of Peter Obi’s emergence as a strong political force and leader to reckon with in the forthcoming general elections.
He said that the unalloyed solidarity movements and bandwagon of support-base had continued to sweep across popular cities in the country, like a tsunami.
He said that the peaceful march was a conscious opportunity to sensitise Nigerians across board of the reasons why Peter Obi remained an ideal leader for the country at this point of Nigeria ‘s national life.
NAN reports that some of the groups supporting Obi through the rally are: Peter Obi Presidential Support Group, Peter Obi Presidential Global Network, Peter Obi Traders Support Group and Peter Obi Vanguard Support Group.
Others are: Initiative for a Better and Brighter Nigeria, Obedient-ALUTA Support Group, Peter Obi National Support Group and Peter Obi Movement among others.
The march is tagged: “Lagos Obi-Datti Five Million + Freedom March”. (NAN)