Peter Obi, a former Anambra State governor, has emerged presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
It came after one of the presidential aspirants, Prof. Pat Utomi, endorsed Obi.
Utomi, a renowned professor of political economy, had stepped down and endorsed Obi on Monday at the venue of the party’s presidential primaries in Delta.
SaharaReporters however learnt that Utomi was instrumental in Peter Obi joining the Labour Party from the PDP.
“Prof Utomi brought Peter Obi to Labour Party in the first place and he has now endorsed him,” a source had told SaharaReporters on Monday.
The venue of the primary holding today (Monday) is Orchid Hotels, GRA, Asaba, the state capital.
The 3rd Force Movement under the umbrella of the National Consultative Front, NCFront, had on Sunday called on more leaders of conscience in the country to quickly join the Labour Party, following its adoption by the 3rd Force Movement as the alternative ‘Big Tent’ for the 2023 elections.
The 3rd Force Movement was initiated to create a strong platform to challenge the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), both of which have had opportunities to lead Nigeria and failed.
A statement signed by Ms Bilikis Bello, the Communications Executive (National) of the NCFront disclosed this on Sunday.
Obi left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last week, blaming recent developments in the party for his defection.
Obi in a letter dated May 25, 2022, and titled, ‘Resignation From Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Withdrawal from the Presidential Contest’, resigned from the PDP and withdrew from the presidential contest.
SaharaReporters had exclusively reported that Obi was dumping the PDP for the Labour Party.
The newspaper had also earlier reported that Obi was planning to dump the opposition party.
The PDP had fixed May 28 and May 29 for its presidential primary.
A source close to Obi had said the former governor was leaving the PDP for the Labour Party.
“He is leaving for the Labour Party,” the source had told SaharaReporters.
As earlier reported by SaharaReporters, the source had said Obi was under pressure to dump the PDP and pursue his presidential bid in another political party.
Obi’s letter addressed to the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, had said, “I am writing to intimate you of my resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party, which was conveyed to the Chairman of Agulu Ward 2. Anaocha LGA Anambra, effective Friday 20 May 2022. Consequently, I am by this letter informing you of my withdrawal for (sic) the PDP Presidential Primaries.
“It has been a great honour to contribute to nation-building efforts through our party. Unfortunately, recent developments within our party make it practically impossible to continue participating and making such constructive contributions.
“Our national challenges are deep-seated and require that we each make profound sacrifices towards rescuing our country. My commitment to rescuing Nigeria remains firm, even if the route differs.
“I wish to thank you personally for your graciousness and leadership. I wish you well and best of luck in the service of the country.”
Obi was the running mate to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 presidential election. Both of them will not face off at the presidential election in 2023, as Atiku on Saturday emerged as the presidential candidate of the PDP.