Dino Melaye, spokesperson of the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign organisation, says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not worried about the perceived popularity and acceptance of Peter Obi, presidential flagbearer of Labour Party (LP).
2023: Peter Obi is fantastic but lacks what it takes to lead Nigeria – Melaye said people are confusing euphoria spurred by Obi’s candidacy to popularity, describing the momentum gathered by Obi as ‘imaginary noise’.
Melaye also compared Obi’s popularity to that of late Gani Fawehinmi, human rights lawyer, who contested and lost the 2003 presidential election, adding that the PDP is not bothered about the LP presidential candidate’s growing popularity.
“All you see is euphoria. All those shouting ‘Peter Obi’, what is the followership of Peter Obi on social media? Even those making those imaginary noise, they don’t follow Peter Obi on social media,” he said.
“Go to the Instagram and Twitter handles of Peter Obi. How many people are following him? We have seen this thing before? Gani Fawehinmi once ran for the president of this country. Facebook went agog. At the end of the day, he got 1,400 votes. Femi Falana, my uncle, ran for governorship. He is popular. There was a lot of euphoria like this. In Ekiti, what was his score?
“Peter Obi was in Osun to personally campaign for his governorship candidate in a rally. [See] the performance of Labour Party — 2,700 votes — where PDP scored over 400,000.
“So, don’t be carried away with this. It is an euphoria. As we are going now, the thing is winding down. We are not interested. We are focused.”
In the 2003 presidential election, Fawehinmi scored 161,333 votes, while the eventual winner, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, polled 24,456,140 votes.