Text of Speech by Doyin Akupe During Unveiling of Campaign Council by Labor Party


1. Let me start by registering my profound gratitude to all Nigerians who have enthusiastically embraced our message, and our Presidential candidate, and in particular to the millions who identify with the OBIdient movement nationwide , organising selflessly and relentlessly pursuing their hope in a New Nigeria.

2. When on 30th May 2022, Mr Peter Obi was entrusted by the membership of our great Labour Party as its Presidential Candidate for the 2023 elections , after the PDP had failed in courage to live up to the due process,

3. He was always clear, in thought and conviction, of his calling and capability to seek and win the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This aspiration and conviction was farther reinforced by his choice Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed an astute educator, businessman, Former legislator and new breed politician, on the 8th July 2022 as his Vice Presidential Candidate , to very loud acclaim.

4. However, in the dramatic sequence of these events , our candidate’s entry into this political race has resulted in an explosion of excitement across the vastness of Nigeria, in the diaspora, and indeed the global community,

5. This has been lovingly and organically expressed in his overwhelming acceptance by the people of Nigeria, through the robust and endearing presentation of his record, personality, vision, policies and promise.

6. There is no doubt that this ascendancy of our Presidential Ticket, to prime position in the hearts and minds of the Nigerian people, has been fuelled by the patriotic zeal, vibrancy , creativity and shining example, in discipline, character and decency of the Obidient movement ,

7. which has today rapidly evolved into the biggest voluntary political movement in Nigeria history.

8. In just about four months, this organic and massively structured movement, consisting of Nigerians from all walks of life , from varying backgrounds and circumstances of life, from the young and not so young, from professions, vocations and occupations of all variations, and from every region, nook and corner of the country, have set a record in political mobilisation , organisation and loyalty , not experienced in recent Nigerian History .

9. Unknown to many , a significant number of the youth and drivers of this movement, are active members and supporters of the other political parties such as the APC and PDP, who could not ignore the overbearing superiority in leadership quality , personal disposition , national appeal, private and public service record, and the clear cut expression of vision and governance solutions, which Peter Obi and Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed have come to represent, for all true lovers of progress and national rebirth.

10. So, it is significant to observe and also to underline, that the Obidient movement, has today risen above religion, ethnicity , political affiliation and all narrow sentiment, to become a truly national movement of Nigerians, prepared for full participation , in this universal mission of national reconstruction.

11. I am personally a firm believer in the philosophy of the Obidient movement, and in the emerging reality, that Nigerians will only remain divided, as long as they allow it, and will only permit national degradation , as long as they do nothing about it.

12. The truth is that the errors of the past, have done painful incalculable damage, to the psyche of our people, the economy of our country , the peaceful existence and security of every citizen, and to the quality of our public services and our private lives.

13. President Buhari has just presented the 2022/23 budget to the National assembly , and in that document, it can be seen that of the 20.5 trillion naira, totally budgeted, actual revenue available to fund the budget is 9.73 trillion naira , leaving a deficit of almost 11 trillion naira , with fuel subsidy alone, gulping 3.6 trillion naira, in the first six months of next year.

14. In effect, this means that the present economic situation, as it affects the common people, is not likely to abate , and I say this not in exaggeration or to heighten fears , but in vivid and responsible assessment of the stark reality.

15. So ,at this time in our history , there can be no middle ground, in the requirement for informed, effective and firm leadership, to begin the hard work, of turning around our national story and our cloudy outlook.

16. My dear Nigerians, astute OBIdients and people of goodwill , in recent weeks, all political permutations , empirical polls and honest true reflection, from the hearts and minds of even those who are publicly on the opposing side, have placed Peter Obi, clearly and far ahead, of the pack , as the right man for the transformational leadership Nigeria needs , at this august juncture .

17. I personally have no doubt, putting all sentiment aside, that if there were a strict prequalification process , discredited parties such as the APC and the PDP will have been disqualified, from the start of this Presidential race ,

18. And I am not talking here, about the dubious nature of educational records, nor even allegations of foreign court certified criminal narcotic records , nor any basis of poor health, and not even of falsified or advanced age ,

19. but I refer to the fundamental parameters of competence and character, where none of these other known candidates, measure up, in any way, to the sterling qualities of Mr Peter Obi and Dr Yusuf Datti-Ahmed.

20. Similarly, on the considerations of true nationalism, geographical equity and fairness of ticket, none of them comes close.

21. The PDP candidate is a product of an unjust and dishonourable process, that clearly violates the equitable rights of the entire southern Nigeria, and the desire for balance in Presidential power , already enshrined in the constitution and history of that party, which was shamelessly subverted by subterfuge, and indeed anything built on injustice , ungodliness and evil conspiracy, can never stand.

22. As for the APC, the presidential candidacy is fundamentally flawed , through the adoption of a skewed and insensitive muslim-muslim ticket ,despite all objections across religious lines, in a highly religiously sensitive country like Nigeria , at a time where all reason, calls for maturity , fairness , equity, justice and balance, for the good of the country.

23. In all honesty, these errors of selfish and opportunistic political manipulation, are not only short sighted and dangerous , but strike at the very heart of Nigeria’s peaceful coexistence, and in fact the very survival of the nation as an entity.

24. And that is why, in response to this affront to good judgement , more than at any time in our history, our country is today witnessing her hottest, fiercest and most dynamic citizen-led political experience, spearheaded largely by the youth population.

25. This dynamism is worth reflecting upon, because it is not only novel in our history, but also lies at the crux of our country’s direction and ultimate destination, in the nearest future.

26. Today, as we commence the campaigns for the 2023 round of elections, the registered voter population figure has tripled, since 2019, and Over 60% of the nearly 100 million registered voters today, consists of the youth population.

27. And again, the most remarkable, organic, self-funded movement, at the vanguard of the political temperature in present time :the New Nigeria movement, is made up of this youth population.

28. It is a fact , beyond contest, that this movement has taken on a life of its own, and today has become an unprecedented and formidable force in our national equation, beyond all imagination.

29. Its continued growth, smart networking and unceasing expansion across all regions of the country, and its strong resilience against all attempts to stifle and underplay its strength , by the corrupt people who are now facing the pressure of change, is firm confirmation, that what we are seeing today is no child’s play.

30. I make bold to say , while the reality is becoming clearer to everyone, that these are the people who will decide the immediate future of this country.

31. The key message of the New Nigeria Movement , also known as the Take Back Nigeria Movement and more popularly as The Obidient Movement, signposts what all key stakeholders in the Nigerian project, and all well-meaning friends and partners of Nigeria, across the world , must give serious thought, and attention to.

32. The Nigerian youth, by this new, unprecedented demonstration of political vibrancy, have signalled to the failing and fading established political order, and transactional political class, that they are tired of the leadership failure that has brought Nigeria, the giant of Africa, to her knees today.

33. The arrogant, corrupt and clearly selfish practices of this old order politicians and their parties, who believe they can always buy their way into power, and always compromise every institution, have now been spotlighted, and stand totally rejected, by this new class of Nigerian voters.

34. The large crowds of highly disciplined ,self organised, self-funded, self-motivated and clearly trans-ethnic-politico-religious groups, and vocal associations of youths, simultaneously calling for a new political culture and new leadership personae, across all the country’s political regions, in a sustained, orderly, but insistent manner, is a clear call and warning to us, as a country – to sit up, shape up and do what is right, before it becomes too late.

35. While those who want to remain wilfully or self deceitfully ignorant, may continue to taunt or tar this renaissance with bigoted, ethnic and amoral paint, it is important to deeply reflect on the evolution of political epochs, and the foundational histories of citizen revolts, in different parts of the world,

36. And not fail, in our duty of ensuring, that we do not fall at cross purposes with the message of this rising army of young, angry but patriotic young Nigerians , at this time in our national history.

37. It is common knowledge, that the bedrock of democracy, is the peoples’ power; and the most resourceful and powerful manifestation of this, in any society, is the youth segment,

38. Any society that ignores the energies, frustrations, protestations and legitimate aspirations of the youth, may just be a step away, from anarchy.

39. At this juncture, for the avoidance of doubt, let me state here clearly that our Party, the Labour Party, as well as the Obi-Datti Presidential ticket of the party, have not spent a kobo to organise, influence, or secure the massive following and support, we have been getting from the Obidient Movement, to date.

40. But yet, this movement has grown bigger than any political party in the land today… and indeed ,Nigeria, since inception, has never ever witnessed such a phenomenon.

41. We in the Obi-Datti Presidential Organisation and the Labour Party, are totally and graciously humbled by this massive adoption of our candidate, as the preferred candidate of the overwhelming number of the Nigerian youth and also, the middle age class, for the forthcoming election.

42. We have come to learn, that the faith and belief of this overwhelming majority of Nigerians, particularly from the youth and middle age population segments, is founded on the perception and trust in our Presidential Team, as sincere, capable, visionary and prudent.

43. In addition , our policy options canvassed as solutions, for salvaging our country, are also understood and generally accepted, as sensible, workable and desirable.

44. We can also not discountenance the fact that credible socio-political organisation’s, and regional associations across the country, have equally expressed their trust and ,thrown their weight behind our party, and its presidential candidates, for practically the same reasons, as the Obidient groups.

45. We are extremely proud, to tell the whole world, that this unprecedented political acceptance of Mr. Peter Obi and his running mate, Dr. Yusuf Datti Baba -Ahmed, now burns like a raging flame in the minds of Nigerians, who are overwhelmingly yearning for a new class of leadership, to rescue the country from its present inadequacies.

46. This organic movement , the patriotic platform known as the Obidient Movement, now represents the potency and altruism at the very foundation of the Labour Party and the Obi-Datti national Structure.

47. Our meeting of minds with this movement, is based on our shared ideals of Credibility, Character, Competence and Commitment, which must henceforth be the key ingredients of leadership, that we must never, as a people and as a nation, compromise, in the birth of a new dispensation.


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48. However, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, In all of this, we will be failing in our responsibility if we do not , in all sincerity, point all Nigerians to the clear danger signs ahead, as we move steadily towards the polls.

49. The current political renaissance and re-energised patriotism of our youths, now means voter apathy is giving way, and the citizens’ are now firmly embracing their patriotic political responsibility.

50. While this is a good development, it comes with a challenge and a warning, to all connected with conducting elections in the country, to play by the rules, and be as transparent, professional and non-partisan as possible, if we do not want to instigate the same energies of the youths to turn against all, in calamitous manifestation, that is better imagined… than allowed to crystallize.

51. In the light of the above, our appeal to the Security agencies, the Judiciary, our retired military and police officers, the middle class, Civil servants, professional bodies and pensioners, is that this is no time for complacency or conspiracy.

52. You must position as a strong vanguard against evil , contributing your patriotic voices and inputs, firmly, in defence of Nigeria’s corporate existence.

53. We charge you to stand tall against all nefarious political practices, and vile tendencies, that may want to sabotage the peace and progressive march of our dear country.

54. To all our religious torchbearers and revered traditional leaders , we request that you intensify prayers and coordinated community efforts against miscreants and rascals, that may want to truncate the destiny of our dear country.

55. To the academia and the intelligentsia, our charge is that you rise up to protect our democracy, by refusing to be compromised in your ad-hoc and advisory roles.

56. To INEC we say, this is the your biggest test in recent history, and you have no choice, but to act as a fair, impartial, fearless and patriotic umpire, in the coming elections.

57. We have noted with extreme concern and worry, the revelations by the Congress of Political Parties (CUPP), as to how presumed agents of the ruling party have infiltrated and compromised the INEC voter registration portals in 18 states.

58. We have also noted, painfully, the concerns expressed by various NGOs, about how the ruling party has smuggled card carrying members of the party, into the INEC officials appointment process, setting them up as Recs, and other key operational personnel.

59. We have also seen citizens in various parts of the country, recovering thousands of voter cards, dumped in drainages and refuse dumps.

60. It is also instructive that these patriotic concerns, have been largely ignored by the government of the day.

61. What all these convey, is that efforts are already afoot to compromise INEC as a way of sabotaging the country’s democratic election process, and the will of the people, to freely choose the leaders they want, in a free, fair and credible election.

62. What we are sure of, however, is that , in the fullness of time, no criminal manipulation will suceed in these elections, whether they be computer or electronically conceived .. or manually and martially enforced.

63. It is our hope and expectation that INEC and its leadership will choose to write their name in gold, and give their conscience, a dose of good health, by doing what is right, noble and patriotic.

64. We are watching and taking notes. We know, and we remind INEC, that the whole world too, is watching and taking notes.

65. In view of the undercurrents we have highlighted above, we call on the international community, to express more than routine interest in this election of 2023.

66. Nigeria occupies a most strategic place in our continental sub-region. With a population of over 200 million people, it cannot be overemphasised, that the peace, tranquillity, stability and political well-being of Nigeria, should be of great interest to the world community,

67. You are no doubt well informed, of the heightening signals in our country, and the fact that any crisis in this biggest black nation on earth, would have untold consequences, on the entire world, in many ramifications.

68. To all political parties and players on the scene, let us be guided that the tide has changed. It is no longer business as usual.

69. The notorious practice of compromising the system with corrupt inducement and money politics, and by the manipulation of the regulatory and security agencies, is no longer the norm, and will be hard to fly in these elections.

70. Already, we have seen, earlier this year, in this very dispensation, how corrupt money politics and evil political conspiracies, have destroyed unity, peace and cohesion, and stifled healthy democratic determination, in the internal structures of political parties, leading to heightened tensions and political disaffection.

71. But we cannot allow these unhealthy practices, to continue to truncate the destiny of our nation. As leaders who profess love for the country and the people we aspire to lead, we must resolve to put a stop to these practices, this time, and commit to playing fairly, by the rules.

72. To the vast Nigerian majority who are wallowing in the unmerited poverty and sordid deprivations that decades of poor leadership has foisted on our country, the coming 2023 election, offers you a great chance to use your vote to turn around the situation.

73. As the overall protectors and custodians of real democracy, your vote is your power and Your PVC is the ticket, to install a responsible government that will be fair , capable, honest and attentive.

74. This is your time….

75. Our Great party, the Labour Party of Nigeria, is fully committed and totally reenergised, to making Nigeria work, and progressively develop… and you can hold us to our word, that The Labour Party presidency of Peter Obi, will cut wastage, and take bold steps to move Nigeria from Consumption..to Production.

76. Within 4 years , the Obi-Datti administration will embark on an aggressive investment drive in practicable smart agriculture outlays, that will see the entire Northern part of the country, become an agricultural mass production and export hub, with the same maximisation of potential , in each and every region of the country.

77. To the Labour Unions and working people, this is our joint undertaking, and we must resist anyone who attempts to break our ranks. The people have mandated us to action, and we cannot pander to those who seek to shamelessly manipulate and retain themselves in power, despite their glaring rejection.

78. To the Obidient Movement, we say, we have shown our zeal and strength in preparation , but now we must show our dexterity and courage, in operation.

79. We must make sure that no PVC is left uncollected, and that everyone comes out to discharge his vote, according to his conscience….and we must apply all legal means, to resist those, who plan to corrupt, circumvent, manipulate or disrupt the process,

80. And by tacit engagement and thinking ahead of all machinations, see this election to fair and logical conclusion, no matter how the system may introduce turns and tricks.

81. This is the time we have prepared for, we cannot afford to fail.

82. Finally, I cannot but thank the Nigerian media for your tremendous sacrifice and great role, as guardians of our democracy.

83. Along with election observers and civil society, the country will owe a great debt of gratitude, for your professional advocacy and watchdog responsibility, which you have applied at times, under most excruciating conditions.

84. As institutional allies and strong partners of the popular will , the true majority and the common peoples, we thank you and salute your courage.

85. Nigerians are counting on you, and the world shall be looking to you, to unearth and express the truth -for you shall be the eyes and ears of the world, in this most important elections.

86. Let me assure all Nigerians, that as we commence the campaign for the 2023 election, in earnest, our party and our candidates, will remain committed to honest, clean and issue-based engagements, with the Nigerian people, whose mandate we seek, in order to turn around the fortunes of this our great, but badly misgoverned country.

87. But let it be also known to the world , that we shall not shy away from legally and robustly engaging any evil attempt, to compromise due process, equity, transparency and fairness.

88. So help us, God.

89. Thank you all. God bless our country, Nigeria


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