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News Updated: March 23, 2024

Afenifere, NDYC, 200 youth groups beg Obi, Otti to support Balami as next LP chairman

By Adekunle Obas
March 23, 2024
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The Coalition for Peter Obi (CPO), an umbrella group comprising over two hundred (200) Peter Obi support groups, has expressed its support for Captain Isaac David Balami to become the next chairman of the Labour Party (LP). 

Also calling on the party leadership to support Balami are the Afenifere National Youths Council, ANYC,  and the Nigeria Delta Youth Council, NDYC.

According to both groups, Balami has proven to be a man of integrity and can be trusted with the job of Labour Party's leadership.

The statements were signed by Eniola Joseph Ojajuni of ANYC and Chief Henderson Henry of NDYC respectively. 

This call comes after corruption allegations were levelled against the party's current chairman, Mr Julius Abure, by various individuals, groups, and party chieftains.

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Abure has been accused of enriching himself with the 2023 campaign funds of the party and failing to account for the sum of N3.5bn. The national treasurer, Oluchi Opara, has also accused Abure of the same. However, Abure's supporters and some party leaders suspended the treasurer for raising what they termed as a false alarm.

Many Obidients are concerned about the future of the party since these corruption allegations began to circulate Abure. The Obidient youths are particularly worried about Abure's numerous fights, which they believe would affect the party's performance in the upcoming elections.

In a recent statement, the CPO national coordinator, Barr. Joshua Ebighiebi, appealed to the party's presidential candidate in the last election, Peter Obi, and the governor of Abia state, Alex Otti, to support the call for Balami's chairmanship of the party. 

Balami had recently been put under pressure by stakeholders and Obedient youths to accept the chairmanship role of the party. The statement titled, "Over Two hundred (200) Peter Obi Support Groups Insist on Isaac Balami for Labour Party Chairmanship," pleaded with party leadership to support Balami, as with him, the crisis in the party can be peacefully resolved, and the party can emerge victorious in future elections.

The statement further highlighted Balami's achievements as a professional and as a former Deputy Campaign Manager for Obi/Datti in the last presidential election. 

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The Coalition for Peter Obi (CPO), the Coalition for New Nigeria (CNN), and the Coalition for Better and Brighter Nigeria (CBBN) are some of the two hundred major support groups that championed Peter Obi's presidential bid in the 2023 election and are now backing Isaac Balami for the Labour Party National Chairmanship. These groups played a crucial role in mobilizing support for and raising awareness both nationally and internationally. Their collective efforts were part of a significant political movement known as 'the Obedient movement,' aimed at bringing about positive change in Nigeria.

Balami, a young and dynamic leader with a people-centric approach, played a pivotal role during the 2023 presidential election campaigns. His collaboration with support groups and stakeholders, such as spearheading the 'Papa, Mama, Pikin' initiative and addressing the shortage of LP polling unit agents, showcased his charm, charisma, and strategic acumen. Despite tight deadlines and limited resources, Balami's partnership with support groups on these projects remained strong.

As the Labour Party faces significant challenges in its current leadership, the upcoming national convention to elect new officials must prioritize credibility, character, and capacity in the selection process. Balami, with his transformative visionary leadership qualities, is a unifier who can bring together diverse groups and stakeholders, building a cohesive and harmonious party that represents all segments of society.

Balami's achievements in the aviation industry have not overshadowed his grounded nature. He views wealth as a means rather than an end, remaining emotionally intelligent, and humble, and embodying traits that resonate with many individuals. His potential to lead the Labour Party towards a brighter future is evident in his ability to connect with people from all walks of life.

The 'Obidients' are calling on Peter Obi, as the Leader of the party, to promote transparency and inclusivity within the Labour Party. This includes allowing all qualified members, including the Obidients, to actively engage in the party's affairs and conventions by granting a 2-year waiver to all Obidients who wish to participate in the National Convention as delegates and aspirants.

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In a heartfelt appeal, the statement urged Peter Obi to endorse their efforts to back Chief Engr. Isaac Balami and ensure that the Labour Party remains a formidable force in Nigerian politics.

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