Supporters of Labour Party Presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential election, Mr. Peter Obi who are popularly called Obidients have unleashed a ferocious attack on the former Director General of the ObiDatti Campaign Council, Dr. Doyin Okupe for standing up for Nigeria in the face of misguided campaign of calumny by coup supporters both in Niger Republic and Nigeria against Nigeria’s President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu who also doubles as the ECOWAS Chairman.
Doyin Okupe’s crime was simply urging that in this period of international conflict, all Nigerians and political leaders should unite and collectively rise in defence of our sovereign state adding that it does not matter who the President is. The Labour Party chieftain made his position known in a series of tweets, which read as follows:
“In this period of international conflict, all Nigerians & our political leaders must unite and collectively rise in defence of our Sovereign state. It matters not who the president is.
“The true test of our patriotism is the ability to put aside our domestic differences in times like this and jointly condemn the effrontery & undiplomatic assault from Niger’s military adventurers. President Bola Tinubu is fighting for the enthronement of democracy in West Africa. It is a commendable act.
“This has from time immemorial been the established focus and center point of our foreign policy. We cannot waver now even in spite of economic challenges’, he tweeted.
Thereafter, torrents of insults and attacks started raining down on Dr. Okupe, mostly coming from Obidients who were his former hailers and defenders. These are some of the comments in reply to Okupe’s tweet:
Dr. Doyin Okupe then tried to clarify his earlier comments on the Niger crisis by tweeting:
“I am not suggesting we go to war with Niger. But Niger cannot rubbish Nigeria. I, as a patriot will not take that. We should not be quiet because of internal differences and allow this to happen. Presidents are not permanent. We must all protect that seat else it’s not worth fighting for.
“I did not ask that Nigeria should go to war. I condemn the military leadership in Niger, they disrespected the Nigerian President, and demeaned our country by breaking diplomatic relationship with us; despite the fact that we initiated a peace move by sending a High powered delegation consisting of a highly globally respected former head of state. They had the audacity to rebuff our peace negotiators and went ahead to break diplomatic relations with Nigeria!
“Who are these unknown elements? I have no apology for this position. I have always spoken my mind on all matters of national interest. And freedom of speech allows me so to do – Fact. I am too old to change that just to please people or friends. That was why I stood out boldly to support Obi against the run of play and against all my friends and political associates in the South West.
“Obi never solicited for my support, neither did he lobby me. I did not ask for a kobo and I received none. I have never been afraid to take an unpopular position on any matter I believe in. This is who I am. I am sorry if I have displeased anyone by my pronouncement. To me this is neither an election nor a partisan matter. It is essentially a matter of National Interest.
“I will always stand for and with Nigeria, no matter who the President is. You can only appreciate this with years of statesmanship and political maturity. Patriotism is not dependent on winning or losing elections/power, neither is it about who is in power at any given point in time. It is an unyielding commitment to protecting the sovereignty & integrity of a nation. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, Okupe ended.
Since news of the military takeover in Niger filtered into air late last month, the supporters of Labour Party and its presidential candidate have been showing uncommon support to the coupists and openly calling on Nigeria’s military to replicate the feat in Nigeria. In the face of all these anti-democratic and unpatriotic posturing which amounts to treason, Mr. Peter Obi as usual has declined to caution his supporters and come out in defence of democracy.