Peter Obi’s Labour Party is yet again the subject of mockery over an embarrassing announcement of December 2023, months after the conclusion of the election and emergence of a new president, as dates for political rallies. The embarrassing faux pas was contained in a statement issued to communicate its sudden postponement of its Ekiti and Ondo rallies after suffering a poor turnout in Kogi, a key middle belt state.
The party’s official account said, “due to some unavoidable and unusual circumstances beyond control, our earlier scheduled presidential campaign rally in Ekiti and Ondo for 15th and 16th December 2023 are hereby POSTPONED.”
The baffling announcement reinforced the suspicion of Nigerians that the party, which is now dominated by migrant political actors from the PDP, was both unprepared to prosecute the election and too wracked by internal confusion and dysfunctionality to be trusted with public administration.
The fact that the schoolboy error came after an unsuccessful rally in Kogi state made it all damaging for Peter Obi and the Labour Party as ordinary Nigerians, some of whom voiced their disapproval on social media, deemed a clear and obvious indication of the party’s appointment with failure at the polls.
Crowd turnout at the party’s Kogi rally was abysmally low despite attempts to drive attendance on social media where the party has conducted much of its campaign despite its low adoption in the country, especially at the grassroots which accounts for the most voters.
An analyst reviewing the significance of the event said “it was the definitive proof that the Labour Party will fail to flatter. The party lacks the network, structure, popularity, and experience to not only run an effective campaign but to win a federal election.”
Another said the failure was a stark reminder of the Labour Party’s “institutional knowledge deficit” as it is a “rag-tag assembly of political upstarts and has-beens in search of relevance and an easy path to power.”
Although the party blamed “unavoidable and unusual circumstances beyond control” for its postponement, sources within the party claimed that it became necessary as the party’s state rounds have become “sapped of the initial verve and energy and a sense is building among Nigerians that either the APC or PDP stand a realistic chance of clinching victory and thus better protect their interests in 2023.”
The postponement, according to the source, is a desperate attempt by the party to buy some time and put its house in order – particularly in the face of multiple financial scandals that have shredded its reputation and strengthened suspicion that the ‘Obi movement’ may be little more than an attempt by some people to milk the public for quick cash.