The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has faced allegations of extortion and a calculated attempt to make financial gain off his unlikely presidential run over obscene access fees demanded at venues of his diaspora tour.
A price list seen by Podium Reporters pegged entrance fee at up to $2,000 per individual, prompting allegations of deliberate extortion and elitism in which Obi is accused of targeting his campaign at Nigerians with high net worth to get them to part with their money, despite portraying himself as an ally of the ordinary Nigerian.
Recall that Obi’s diaspora tour which has seen him visit Germany and the USA was prefaced by an internal conflict in the Labour Party that resulted in the creation of multiple donation accounts, one of which was denounced by the faction loyal to the former Anambra Governor.
Sources confirmed to Podium Reporters that despite the public display of camaraderie, the Labour Party is riven by disagreement over control of party’s apparatus as migrants from the PDP led by Obi have faced stiff resistance from the existing members of the party led by longtime presidential hopeful, Prof. Pat Utomi.
The steep and exclusionary access fees charged by Obi on the tour affirms suspicion that his decision to run for President, despite lacking the broad national support required to win, was informed by a desire to make financial profits, some Nigerians have said.
Activist, Reno Omokri echoed similar sentiment in a tweet that read, “Ordinary seat = $250, VIP seat = $1000, Executive seat = $500
“Peter Obi is just a clever man that knows he will not win and wants to use this election to cash out! Look at the prices he is charging. And he says he is for the poor! If you don’t have shishi, stay away.”
Indeed, Obi’s campaign has struggled under allegations of sectionalism and violence, particularly with persisting links to IPOB, an insurrectionist group responsible for several extra-judicial killings and other acts of terror in the eastern part of the country.