The ‘Obidient movement’, a term used to describe the youth-dominated supporters of Peter Obi the presidential candidate of the Labour Party during the February 25, 2023 elections, has proven itself a formidable force in the 2023 general elections.
If anyone was in doubt of the movement’s capability, the official results of both the Presidential and National Assembly elections have cleared such doubt.
Aside from Peter Obi officially garnering over 6 million votes, the movement caused upsets for many established politicians and stopped some lawmakers from returning to the Red and Green Chambers.
From zero in the current National Assembly, the Labour Party will be represented at the next Assembly with 6 Senatorial and 34 House of Representatives Seats.
With the results achieved 2 weeks ago, the Obidients have proven that the support base of the Labour Party is not just “4 people tweeting.” And that energy is being taken to the gubernatorial and states Assembly elections coming on Saturday with their new slogan of “Labour Party from top to bottom” trending every day on the Nigerian Twitter space.
In the Presidential election, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate won 11 states and FCT, Abuja. While the Labour Party is fielding governorship candidates in 27 out of the 28 states where the governorship election is going to hold on March 18 according to the list released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), attention will be on the gubernatorial candidates of 8 out of the 11 states where Labour won the presidential election.
The other stronghold states of the Labour Party judging by the results of the last presidential election are Imo, Edo, and Anambra which are having their elections off-cycle.
The candidates are profiled below.
Chijioke Edoga (Enugu State)
The Labour Party did not just win the presidential election in Enugu State, it pocketed almost all the votes in the state with 93% of the votes cast, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) managed to garner 3% and 1% respectively. This result gives Chijioke Edoga the brightest chance of winning as he battles with Geoffrey Nnaji of APC and Peter Mbah of the PDP on March 18, 2023.
Alex Otti (Abia State)
In Abia, Alex Otti of the Labour Party will be slugging it out on Saturday with other major candidates such as Ikonne Ajuzie of the PDP and Emenike Ikechi of the APC, among others. Going by the results of the February 25 presidential election in which the Labour Party won with 88% of votes in the state, Otti is expected to do well in the coming election.
Edward Nkwegu (Ebonyi State)
The South Eastern State of Ebonyi was also in the bag of the Labour Party during the presidential election. The Party won the state with 79% of the votes cast to prove that the obedient movement is strong in the state. On March 18, the odds will be against other candidates including Nwifuru Francis of the APC and Ifeanyi Odii of the PDP, while Edward Nkwegu is expected to ride on the goodwill of the Labour Party in Ebonyi.
Kennedy Pela (Delta State)
The supporters of the Labour Party in Delta State also proved themselves during the presidential election by delivering 55% of the votes cast to the party. The Party’s governorship candidate, Kennedy Pela may be heading for a win on Saturday if the momentum among the party’s supporters remains the same. It will definitely be a hard fight between Pela and Ovie Omo-Agege of the APC, and Sheriff Oborevwori of the PDP, among others.
Ogar Osim (Cross River State)
The Labour Party also won Cross River State in the last election by polling 44% of the total votes cast. Ogar Osim may also be coasting to victory on the back of the strong support base enjoyed by the party in the state. He will be facing Bassey Otu of the APC and Ambrose-Amawhe Emana of the PDP, among other candidates from several other parties.
Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (Lagos State)
The result of the presidential election in Lagos came as a shock to many, being the home State of the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The result has also put the incumbent Governor Babajide Sanwo under serious pressure to win a return ticket to the government house.
However, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party continues to enjoy the backing of the Obidient movement, who have also vowed to come out en masse to vote for him. The Labour Party won the presidential election in Lagos with a slight margin of about 10,000 votes and 45% of the total vote cast. But it definitely won’t be a smooth ride for the LP candidate who will be facing an incumbent and the candidate of the PDP, Jide Adediran.
Patrick Dakum (Plateau State)
The North Central State of Plateau is also Obidient judging by the last presidential election result. The Labour Party scored 42% of the total votes in the state to win the presidential election and it has proven to be another strong base of the obedient movement. Patrick Dakum will be facing Nentawe Goshwe of the APC and Caleb Mutfwang of the PDP on Saturday, March 18 with the hope of winning.
Joseph Ewuga (Nasarawa State)
In Nasarawa State, Joseph Ewuga will be up against an incumbent who is seeking a second term, Audu Sule of APC. While the LP candidate also has Yahaya Usman of PDP to contend with, he will be leveraging the popularity of the Obidient movement in the State to achieve success in the election. The Labour Party won the presidential election in Nasarawa with 35% of the total votes cast, while APC came second with 31%.
While these candidates will be riding on the popularity of the political party and the positive sentiment it enjoys, the personality and track records of each of the contesting candidates will also play a significant role in whether they will emerge winners or not.
This is showcasing the Labour party candidates and should have been so captioned