Supporters of the Labour Party Presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential election, Mr. Peter Obi have intensified attacks and propaganda warfare against the nation’s judiciary following clear signs that their hope of ‘recovering an illusionary Obi mandate’ is simply a pipe dream.
This coordinated and vicious attack on the judicial institution by the Obidients (as Obi supporters choose to call themselves), is not new however since they have deployed similar modus operandi during the campaigns and the presidential election when they attacked and blackmailed the Independent National Electoral Commission while casting doubts on its independence and integrity.
This latest round of attacks is led on the social media platforms of Twitter and Facebook by diehard Obidients who have the confidence of the Labour Party Presidential candidate. Faceless twitter users are using pseudo handles to embark on campaigns of calumny, blackmail and threats against the learned Justices of the Court of Appeal presiding over the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal as well as the entire judiciary. Their attacks also extend to any individual they consider as a major contributor to Peter Obi’s electoral defeat and who they feel like assassinating his or her character.
The latest victims of the Obidient online terror and blackmail gang were the Chairman of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani alongside the other four Justices sitting on the Tribunal and the former Lagos State Governor and Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN. The LP former Campaign DG, Dr. Doyin Okupe was also not spared.
An Obidient with the twitter handle @SantaChidi tweeted an apparent threat of attack on the children and family of the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Tsammani if he does not make sure Peter Obi wins at the Tribunal.
The religious wing of the Obidient movement equally joined in the blackmail campaign of the Tribunal judges hiding under the guise of prayers. Images and videos of pastors have surfaced online showing these church leaders projecting the pictures of the five Justices of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on their screen during church service.
One viral video shows the Pastor of the Garden of Grace Church in Awka, Anambra State leading his members to ‘pray’ among other things for the Justices to do the ‘right thing’; shock the nation with their judgment; allow God to use them to enthrone his leadership in addition to many mischievous prayer lines apparently alluding to one thing – a victory for Mr. Peter Obi at the Tribunal. Obviously the religious war, Mr. Peter Obi talked about is still ongoing.
Various Obidients also used their twitter accounts to wage a coordinated blackmail and mob attack on Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, announcing to the whole world first that Fashola was writing the Tribunal judgment on behalf of the five Justices of the PEPT and equally spread a fake news thereafter that the DSS had laid a siege on the Abuja residence of the former Minister.
Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who is a senior lawyer himself, knowing that the game plan of these Obidients was to discredit whatever judgment the tribunal may give had to write a petition of defamation of character against known handles where this blatant fake news were first shared and propagated.
Dr. Doyin Okupe, who for months served as the DG of the ObiDatti Campaign Council was also on the cancellation block of the Obidients. His crimes were simply for standing with Nigeria and ECOWAS in their efforts to restore democracy in Niger Republic and also most recently, urging the Senate to clear and confirm the ministerial nominee and former Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai whose confirmation was earlier stepped down pending what the Senate called a ‘security clearance’. Obidients have been launching attacks against their former DG from all fronts since then.
In all these, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party whose supporters are basically running rampage on major online platforms has maintained a loud silence and has failed to caution his follows against threatening the judiciary or perceived political opponents.
Mr. Peter Obi by his silence has simply endorsed these fascist tactics and methods employed by his supporters. To keen observers however, this attitude of the former Anambra State Governor is not surprising as he is known to surreptitiously instigate a campaign of calumny against his opponents and then sit back and watch with glee as his mob of supporters cross every imaginable red line.