The presidential candidate of the Action Democratic Party, Yabagi Sani, says his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, is making “a lot of motion without movement”, adding that the former Anambra State governor cannot win 25% of votes in 24 states across the Federation in the 2023 presidential election.
Sani, who is also the ADP leader and chairman of the Inter-party Advisory Committee, the umbrella body of registered political parties in Nigeria, spoke on Channels Television’s Political Paradigm programme aired on Tuesday.
He dismissed Obi’s Labour Party as the Third Force that Nigerians desire to break away from the cyclical rotational governments of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress – the two parties that have held the reins at the centre since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999. PDP was in government from 1999 to 2015 when the APC took over.
“It is not the Third Force that will bring us the change that we need but the fact that the makeup of these parties and what they represent today is a fiasco,” he said.
Sani also described as mere social media “euphoria” the growing support for Obi amongst youths.
“It is an expression of frustration by Nigerians against these two parties (APC and PDP) and this does not translate to victory for Peter Obi…Will Peter Obi be able to achieve 25% as required by the constitution across the board?
“When EndSARS happened, people were thinking that can translate it to become a political force that will effect a change but it fizzled.”
According to Section 34 of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of Elections, a presidential candidate can only be announced as the winner if he or she “has the majority of votes cast at the election; and has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”
Asked whether Obi stands a chance to win the 2023 presidential poll, the ADP presidential candidate said, “I don’t think so if you situate it in our political structure, in our formula; what the constitution says you must have. Peter Obi cannot have it. Peter Obi can create the vibration, a lot of motion without movement; noisemaking but it can’t win an election.”
Pressing further, Sani said the only thing Peter Obi has going for him is because he is of Igbo extraction and there has been a clamour for a President from the South-East zone.
The ADP candidate questioned the integrity and the parameters of a poll by the Anap Foundation favouring Obi. “Social media is not equal to the polling unit. The euphoria is entertainment. Let’s have some entertainment,” he mocked.
Sani said his party is the main third force as it came third in the recent Osun State Governorship Election after PDP and APC which came first and second respectively.
“We are not so much into noise-making,” he said, adding that the ADP is a party to beat in Kano State, where presidential candidates including APC’s Bola Tinubu and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar look forward to large votes.
According to him, the APC and the PDP are shadows of themselves going by the controversies that surrounded their respective primaries.