Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, explained that his regular visit to churches are to solicit for prayers for his candidacy from worshippers and not to campaign.
He made this known in a statement issued by the Head of Media, Obi-Datti Campaign Organization, Diran Onifade, in Abuja on Thursday.
The statement said that the former Governor of Anambra’s visits to churches were consistent with his ways, and not prompted by politics as claimed by opposition parties.
It also revealed that Obi was not championing sectional or religious interests in his quest to be elected Nigeria’s next President in 2023, explaining that his candidacy is being driven solely by a patriotic determination to birth a new Nigeria.
However, the statement said attempts to label the LP flagbearer as a champion of sectional interests in a bid to douse his current popular standing as the obvious choice of the majority of Nigerians will fail.
It mentioned that previous efforts by Obi’s detractors to tag him as a mere social media candidate without any political structure on the ground failed, hence the new propaganda will fail too.
The statement reads:
“It said because of Obi’s high visibility, mischievous people see his frequent appearances at churches or secular programmes as religious adventures with political undertones, pointing out that anyone knowledgeable about the LP flag bearer’s past knows that he has always been a regular sight at church services irrespective of the denomination.
“Even as Governor, Obi has always been involved in religious issues whether Christianity or Islam. He always seeks prayers for himself from those around him including subordinates because he sees himself as a child of God’s abundant grace and therefore needs constant supplications.
“As Governor, Obi sponsored Muslims to Mecca for Hajj and always urged them to pray for him. Obi, although a Catholic, has not limited himself to his faith even before becoming a presidential candidate. We recall vividly that when Pastor Adeboye visited Anambra state to dedicate a church built by one of the top Anambra citizens in Nnewi, Obi was physically there with the revered Pastor.
“These instances are verifiable to buttress the fact that the LP Presidential flag bearer has been consistent in his way of life as it relates to his faith, prayers and relationship with his maker.
“There is nowhere he gave a kobo to any church or pastor. We also understand the frustration of Obi’s opponents who lack the physical and mental strength to go around seeking God’s face in his project and have chosen the easy way, which is blackmail and slander.
“Having seen their previous attempts at whittling down Obi’s popularity among Nigerian founders in the most spectacular manner, they are currently embarking on another miserable attempt at derailing what is obviously a fast-moving train. Their mission now is to label Obi a jingoist of religion and tribe in a bid to curry favour with other religious or ethnic interests.
“If Obi is to be cubby-holed, he should be seen as a candidate of the youths and the poor in society whom he identified as the victims of successive federal administrations. While Obi is making frantic efforts to market himself to the Nigerian people with issue-driven campaigns, his detractors are busy trying hard to tag him as a candidate of one faith. But the plain and irreducible truth is that Obi’s candidacy cuts across every divide.”