Obasanjo’s Endorsement of Peter Obi, INEC Receives Last Batch of BVAS, Candidate Intensifies Campaigns Ahead of 2023 General Elections… Recap of Top Political Events of the Week


Oluwaseye Ogunsanya

The week ushered in the new year which is very significant as far as politics is concerned in Nigeria. Few weeks from now, there will be a change of government as Nigerians will go to the polls to elect new sets of leaders across all levels who will be at the helm of affairs for the next four years. 

The polity witnessed the intensity of the forthcoming election as electioneering activities started right from the first day of the new year with a letter from the letterman himself and a former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. One of the major highlights of the 6 page letter which bordered on issues affecting the country as well as the forthcoming general elections is the endorsement of Peter Obi for president. This opened the floodgates for other political events and activities in the country.

FactCheckElections takes a look at the major events that went down this week as we prepare for the 2023 general elections.

Obasanjo Endorses Obi For President 

Like an unexpected visitor, Nigerians got a New Year message on Sunday from former president Olusegun Obasanjo. In the message which was a 6 page letter titled “My appeal to all Nigerians particularly Young Nigerians”, the ex-president particularly urged Nigerian youths to be more deliberate about the choices they make, adding that the 2023 elections should not be taken for granted. 

He thereby used the medium to endorse the candidature of Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi for president after taking a swipe at the present administration saying that the last seven and a half years of the Buhari administration have been traumatic for many Nigerians. 

“We have moved from frying pan to fire and from mountain top to the valley. Our leaders have done their best, but their best had turned out to be not the best for Nigeria and Nigerians at home and abroad.  For most Nigerians, it was hell on earth.” He declared.

He acknowledged that although none of the candidate is a saint but Obi has an edge over all other frontline candidates adding that both Tinubu’s ‘Emi Lokan’ (My turn) and Atiku’s ‘l have paid my dues’ mindsets “are one and the same thing and are wrong attitude and mentality for the leadership of Nigeria now.”

He also stated that the kind of leader Nigeria needed currently was not one with an entitlement mentality, but someone selfless, courageous, honest, patriotic, one with character and the fear of God.

“None of the contestants is a saint but when one compares their character, antecedents, their understanding, knowledge, discipline, and vitality that they can bring to bear and the great efforts required to stay focused on the job, particularly looking at where the country is today and with the experience on the job that I personally had, Peter Obi as a mentee has an edge”. He wrote in part.

Obasanjo’s Endorsement Raises Dust 

Of course, Obasanjo’s letter and endorsement raised a dust in the polity as reactions came from different angles. 

The presidency in its reaction accused Obasanjo of being jealous of President Muhammadu Buhari for beating his record in national development, while the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of APC described the endorsement of Obi by Obasanjo as useless, alleging that the former president hardly has strong electoral value.

The PDP PCC on the other hand said whether Obasanjo likes it or not, Atiku would be president in his lifetime. But LP enjoined other former Nigerian leaders to emulate Obasanjo and endorse Obi.

The APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu also reacted to Obasanjo’s endorsement of Peter Obi. He said that the ex-president is “jealous” of his achievements and his endorsement of Obi won’t work or make any difference in the outcome of the election adding that “the blind” cannot lead “the blind”. 

While others come hard on Obasanjo, the governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom backed the former president’s endorsement of Obi. Ortom who is a member of the PDP’s G5 said if he were not a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he would have personally led Obi’s campaign across the country. 

He added that he is convinced that Obi “possesses the qualities of a leader who will be a true president of this country by guaranteeing justice, equity and fairness for all Nigerians”.

The governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike also reacted to Obasanjo’s endorsement of Obi but it was directed at PDP’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar who was the vice-president under Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007.

Speaking on Monday at the flag-off ceremony of the construction of a road in Emohua LGA of the state, Wike said there is “something fundamentally wrong” if Abubakar could not get the support of the former president.

“I worked with somebody for eight years and we are using it as a campaign that when we were in office we did well. Then my boss is recommending another person, not me? Something is fundamentally wrong,” Wike said.

It remains to be seen if Obasanjo’s endorsement will go a long way in landing Obi the presidential job.

Clark Endorses Peter Obi For President 

In a similar vein, on Tuesday, a former federal commissioner of Information and Ijaw leader, Edwin Clark endorsed Peter Obi for the forthcoming election.  

According to Clark, Mr Obi would unite the country with his move to restructure it, if he wins the presidential election. He also added that the Niger Delta people wish to see a Nigeria where there would be true federalism, especially in the areas of power devolution and resource control, and that this aspiration has been presented by PANDEF to Mr Obi.

INEC Receives Last Batch of BVAS, Warns Public Against Fake Recruitment Website, Announces Collation Centre, Situation Room

As the election day is fast approaching, the Independent National Electoral Commission is leaving no stone unturned in order to deliver on its mandate to conduct a free, fair and transparent election. It is in this regard that on Tuesday, the commission received the last batch of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation machines.

This was made known by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, on Wednesday in a statement signed by him.

According to the statement, INEC created four airport hubs in Abuja, Kano, Lagos, and Port Harcourt to facilitate the smooth delivery of the machines.

Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) is an electronic device introduced by INEC in 2021. It was designed to read Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and authenticate voters – using the voters’ fingerprints and facial recognition – in order to prove that they are eligible to vote at a particular polling unit.


On Tuesday also, after FactCheckElections reported about a fake INEC recruitment website here, the electoral commission cautioned the public against a website advertising ad-hoc staff positions for the 2023 general election.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the chief press secretary to INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, the commission is no longer recruiting ad-hoc staff for the 2023 general election. He added that the website was created with the intention to defraud the general public, therefore, he asked Nigerians to disregard it.

Recall that the INEC ad-hoc staff recruitment portal was officially shut down on 14th December 2022.

On Thursday, the commission announced that it would be using the International Conference Centre, Abuja for the final Collation of the 2023 general elections results and the National Situation Room.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye said in a statement that the decisions were finalised at the commission’s weekly meeting held on Thursday.

He also revealed that the commission also constituted two committees for the collation secretariat as well as the Situation Room and Collation Centre Committee.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu will head the Collation Secretariat where presidential results from the states will be collated while few technical staff will assist him.

Mr Okoye said the second committee which has 16 members would be chaired by May Agbamuche-Mbu, a national commissioner with the commission and the committee would be “responsible for the preparation of the venue, seating arrangement, utilities and services, security, the accreditation of party agents, as well as the national and international observers, media, etc.”

Campaign Intensifies 

The week was not void of election rallies as candidates of major parties turned out to sell candidature to the public. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Bola Tinubu campaign train was at Kano and Edo respectively. 

At Kano, he promised to provide good governance if elected at the February 25, 2023 election while at Edo, among other things, he said he would make the state an economic hub and “turn the so-called yahoo boys to experts in manufacturing and creation of chips” if elected. 

Obi In Ekiti, Gets Title 

On Thursday also, Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi’s campaign train was at Ekiti to convince voters to elect him. Obi said his administration will bring good governance to the doorsteps of Nigerians. 

He also urged supporters to work for the party’s victory, adding that with his administration, Nigerians won’t have to worry about insecurity or poverty.

One of the major highlights of Obi’s visit to Ekiti was the conferment of the title of ‘Omowale of Ekiti’ on him by Aare Afe Babalola at the University auditorium of Afe Babalola University in Ado-Ekiti.

This conferment on Obi is seen as another boost of his chances at the polls come next month.

G5 At Oyo For Seyi Makinde’s Re-election Campaign Flagoff 

Finally, this article will not end without mentioning the colorful flagoff of Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde’s re-election bid. 

The campaign flag-off which took place in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital had all members of the G5  — Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Samuel Ortom of Benue, and Okezie Ipeazu of Abia — in attendance.

Wike urged the crowd to vote for the PDP candidates at all levels, adding that Makinde who he described as “our youth leader in G5” will tell them who to support for the presidency. 

“You all know that Seyi Makinde has done well since he came in 2019 and therefore, the only way we can appreciate more and benefit more is for him to go back and complete the good work he has started.”

“The other one, Seyi will come (tell) to you.”

But as he emphasized that Makinde will tell them who to vote for as president, Wike was disrupted by chants of “Atiku, Atiku”.

Reacting to the development on Friday, Atiku said on Twitter that he heard the residents “loud and clear”, adding that he takes it as a “vote of confidence”.

“Oyo State, I heard you loud and clear yesterday. I take it warmly as a vote of confidence in me and our great party, Peoples Democratic Party. You proved that my love for the Pace-Setter State over the years is not in vain,” he wrote 

“My promise to you is this: we shall work closely together in the mission to Recover Nigeria.”

Recall that the G5 governors or integrity group have been absent from the campaign rallies of Atiku and are demanding the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman of the party on the grounds that the party’s presidential candidate and national chairman cannot be from the same region of the country. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *