The 2023 Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party Peter Obi, has condemned those using the name of his support group “Obidients” to abuse and insult Nigeria’s eminent personalities.
Obi, who spoke on the background of the abuses and rain of insults targeted on the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, over his recent comment on the “president-elect” Bola Tinubu. Obi condemned the social media attacks and distanced himself, members of the Obidient family from what he described as another campaign of calumny from opposition ranks.
Adeboye had on Monday, declared that Nigeria would prosper under the incoming administration of Bola Tinubu. He had said Tinubu could fix Nigeria with God’s help, while urging the president-elect to fulfill Nigerians’ dream of a new nation. Adeboye had through his Special Assistant, Pastor Dele Balogun, during a monthly Thanksgiving service at the RCCG Headquarters in Ebute-Metta, said: “Let us pray for the incoming government that God will support it and give it the Grace to do the right thing.
“Thank God the President-elect has promised to fix Nigeria. If God helps him, Nigeria will prosper in his hands.”
The statement however, draw irate mob of young Nigerians who berated the cleric.
Reacting to the rain of abuse in a statement posted on official Twitter account, Obi said, “The use of subterfuge by people masquerading as Obidients to abuse and insult eminent personalities like Most Reverend Pastor Enoch Adeboye or anyone else is most unacceptable.”
Obi insisted that “Obidients are by and large, law-abiding citizens,” adding that “while differences of opinion are normal, calculated efforts to create ethnic or religious chasm all in the name of politics should not in any way be tolerated”
“As a person, I eschew name-calling, insults, and abuses, likewise most of my supporters.
“The suggestion that some in the fringes engage in such conduct casually overlooks the fact that the political opposition deploys such methods to gain undue advantage and create confusion and bad blood. – PO”
At the same time, Obi-Datti Media Office had earlier condemned such attacks on the clergyman.
In the statement signed by the Head of the Media Office, Diran Onifade, they distanced their principal and support group from the attack said: “Our attention has been drawn to yet another campaign of calumny emanating from opposition ranks, this time blaming ‘Obidients’ for recent unjustified social media attacks on the revered General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
“We wish to state categorically that supporters of Mr Peter Obi, like their Principal, have great respect for Pastor Adeboye and therefore are not involved in any social media hounding of the revered man of God most especially over a statement he did not make.
“It has become a pattern for desperate political operatives to orchestrate a ruse and blame it on Peter Obi’s supporters in furtherance of the opposition’s subterfuge strategy which has failed back to back.
“We wish to appeal to fellow Nigerians to ignore the antics of election riggers who believe that demarketing Peter Obi is their sure means of keeping a stolen mandate.
“Nigerians are aware by now that issuing personal insults is not Peter Obi’s character and he does not encourage his followers to engage in same.”