2023 election: Edwin Clark endorses Peter Obi, as Ortom backs Obasanjo

Abuja—Elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, has endorsed the candidacy of Mr Peter Obi for the 2023 presidential election.

Clark announced his position at a news briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.

ChannelsTV reports that the elder statesman based his endorsement of Mr Obi, who is the presidential candidate of the Labour Party on traits he believes are critical to leading the country.

Explaining further, he cited honesty, trust and transparency, all of which he said Mr Obi displayed when he he governed Anambra State.

Clark called on Obi to tackle the injustices and environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region if elected as President.

The Ijaw leader’s backing is the second high-profile endorsement to be received by Obi in three days.

Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, endorsed Obi for President on Sunday.

In a New Year message that he signed personally, the former President said Obi had an edge over all the candidates in the race.

He said, “none of the contestants is a saint but when one compares their character, antecedent, their understanding, knowledge, discipline, and vitality that they can bring to bear and the great efforts required to stay focused on the job, particularly looking at where the country is today and with the experience on the job that I personally had, Peter Obi as a mentee has an edge.

“Others like all of us have what they can collectively contribute to the new dispensation to liberation, restoration, and salvaging of Nigeria.

“One other important point to make about Peter is that he is a needle with thread attached to it from North and South and he may not get lost.”

Obasanjo’s endorsement has sparked strong criticism from other presidential candidates and their parties with the APC and the PDP faulting him and moving to dismiss the former president’s political influence.
In the same vein, Benue State Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, on Tuesday backed Obasanjo and praised Obi’s qualities.

Ortom’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Terver Akase, in a statement on Tuesday, said the governor “strongly recommends Peter Obi to Nigerians as the man who has the capacity to effectively tackle the economic, security and other challenges facing the country.”

The Governor stated that if he were not a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) he would have personally led Obi’s campaign across the country.

“The Governor stresses that for some years, the country has been tottering on the verge of collapse, owing to leadership failure and its attendant consequences of poverty, heightened insecurity with banditry, kidnappings and other acts of terrorism threatening the very foundations of the nation.

“He says the president that Nigeria needs at this challenging time in the country’s history is one who understands the urgent need to unite the people and speedily initiate policies and actions to redirect the ship of the nation on the path of growth and development, and emphasizes that Peter Obi has all such qualities.

“Governor Ortom lauds Chief Obasanjo for once again demonstrating objectivity, truth and patriotism as a statesman whose views on national issues must be taken seriously,” the statement reads.

Ortom is one of five aggrieved PDP governors known as G5. The group led by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike also has Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) as members.

The governors have refused to campaign for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, insisting on the removal of the party’s National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, as a condition for revolving the internal dispute in the party.

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