Labaran Maku, a former Minister of Information and National Orientation, admitted on Tuesday that many in the ruling All Progressives Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party underestimated the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and his supporters known as the “Obidients.”
Maku, a PDP chieftain from Nasarawa State, also stated that the two major parties underestimated Obi and his supporters because they believed he lacked political structure and would be unable to accomplish much, but were surprised by the outcome of the 2023 presidential election, which demonstrated that “the youths were not joking.”
This was stated by the former minister while answering questions on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme about the outcome of the 2023 elections.
According to him, “What happened in the presidential election as you could see was that there was this wave of young people, the ‘Obidients’ that we all took for granted and we were thinking Peter Obi was a joke. Where would he go?
“So, both PDP and the APC, we were thinking ‘This man does not have structure. He will not be able to do so much’.
“But the young people seized the initiative from the politicians. And for the first time – what we saw in Nasarawa, Edo, several other places, and in Delta State where the PDP vice presidential candidate comes from – we saw that young people were serious about what they were doing and they took advantage of social media to project a programme which has shaken the nation.”
While admitting that the party lost the presidential election in the state to the Labour Party, he claimed that the ruling All Progressives Congress win in the governorship poll was faulty.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission, in the early hours of March 1, declared the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, president-elect after the 70-year-old polled 8,794,726 votes to win the 2023 presidential election.
However, Tinubu did not have it all rosy as the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Obi of the Labour Party, who emerged as a third force, shook the former governor, especially in Lagos State where Obi trounced Tinubu to win the presidential election in the state that many considered a strong hold of the APC leader.