Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia, Most Rev. Dr Chibuzo Raphael Opoko, has said that contrary to misconceptions in some quarters, the ‘ Obidients’ are not members of the Labour Party but progressive Nigerians who are disenchanted with bad governance and corruption in the country.
This is as the Archbishop vowed never to recognise anyone as Nigeria’s President-elect until the petitions surrounding the February 25 Presidential election were discharged.
The Archbishop who spoke in Umuahia, expressed shock over the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to electronically transmit the results of the presidential poll from polling units via the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS machines contrary to its earlier assurances.
He said that allegations of manipulation of the presidential poll results were too weighty to be ignored.
This, according to him, informed his decision not to recognise anybody as president-elect until the pending petitions were decided by the judiciary.
“How can I do that when the premise that INEC used is being challenged in the competent court of law?” He queried.
Archbishop Opoko urged the judiciary to be upright in handling the pending petitions arising from the elections, noting that the eye of the world is on the judiciary.
He, therefore, urged the judiciary not to betray the confidence reposed in it by the people as the last hope of the common man.
“Nigerians are taking note and identifying those who are working against the Nation. Those who are anti-new Nigeria of their dreams. Those who have their knees on the neck of the nation causing the Nation difficulties in breathing.
“A day of reckoning must surely come and they will never forget but will surely remember. Hence, the judiciary is called upon to dispense justice and uphold truth no matter whose ox is gored.”
On the misconceptions over the ‘Obidients,’ the cleric said that the ‘Obidients’ “cut across ages, political parties, tribes, ethnic nationalities, and religions in the country.
“The ‘Obidients’ are those who believe in the emergence of a new Nigeria where justice, equity, fair play, merit and due process will be the order of the day,” he said.
Archbishop Opoko said that supporters of the LP presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, came from different political parties, while some were not even members of any party but only saw in him the face of the new Nigeria of their dream.
“A lot of people talk about the ‘Obidients’ as if they are a political party. They are people who are tired and dissatisfied with the way things are done in Nigeria, and they wanted a change.
“They cut across different political parties, religion and geopolitical zones.
“They only saw themselves in the expression of the LP candidate who speaks and has the vision of their expectations.
“So, the ‘Obidients’ movement is beyond Peter Obi. Peter Obi is just like a driver that has been engaged by the ‘Obidients’ movement to take them to the promised land.”