Babachir Lawal, a former secretary of the government of the federation (SGF), says Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party, is gaining support in “unexpected areas”.
Speaking on Friday during an interview with Channels Television, Lawal said the LP’s growing popularity will shock critics.
In July 2022, the former SGF rejected the choice of Kashim Shettima as running mate to Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), over the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Lawal was initially at the forefront of the campaign for Tinubu before the choice of Shettima.
In November 2022, Lawal endorsed Obi, saying the former Anambra governor’s candidacy shows the genuine clamour on power shift.
Speaking on the chances of Obi in February polls, Lawal said the LP candidate will achieve more than 50 percent of the total votes cast in the majority of the states in northern Nigeria.
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“On the side of the Labour Party, what has changed is that areas where we had not expected the Labour Party to do well; they are galloping through,” he said.
“The momentum is so much that it is difficult to curtail.
“When the 2023 election season commenced, Peter Obi was not on the card during the computations as to what will happen and the expectation was that the race was a straight one between APC and PDP.
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“Out of nowhere, Peter Obi came in and then followed by Rabiu Kwankwaso. The whole permutations changed.
“Unfortunately for the two parties — APC and PDP — they don’t have the capacities to factor this dynamic.
“As you speak, Peter Obi has run PDP out of Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Benue, and Kaduna states and quite a number of states in the north.
“Before, in our calculations, we were targeting 25 percent but now we are targeting within 55 to 70 percent in the majority of the states in the north.”
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Speaking on the comment of Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna governor, that Obi can’t win the election, the former SGF said el-Rufai will be shocked by the outcome of the election.
“Every Nigerian is now determined to have a say in this election, including those who Nasir el-Rufai claimed are not many. He said northern Christians are not many,” he added.
“I want him to wait for February 25 and he will see the shock of his life. When he goes around bandying about five and six million votes in Kano, he forgets that in that five and six million, the Igbo are about one million, residing in various towns in Kano.”