…By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
During a radio interview, Tawfiq Akinwale, the Labour Party’s candidate for the Oyo State governorship race, made a noteworthy allegation.
He claimed that President-elect Bola Tinubu urged Professor Pat Utomi to step aside in favor of Peter Obi before the 2023 general elections.
The allegation surfaced during Akinwale’s appearance on 101.7 YES FM, a radio program based in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Speaking in Yoruba, Akinwale asserted that Obi received campaign donations from Utomi, whom he referred to as Tinubu’s “protege.”
He explained that prior to the 2023 elections, Obi had obtained the nomination form of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but suddenly announced his departure from the party.
Initially, Pat Utomi had secured the Labour Party’s presidential ticket, but when Obi joined the party after leaving the PDP, Tinubu swiftly advised Utomi, whom he is known to have mentored, to step down for Obi.
Akinwale claimed that Tinubu saw an opportunity in Obi’s presidential bid to diminish the chances of Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential candidate.
He alleged that Obi was unaware of the underlying scheme and started receiving campaign funds from Utomi, while Tinubu continued to provide money to Utomi.
The manipulation continued until Obi’s presidential campaign exceeded expectations, with him being unwittingly used as a pawn.
Prior to these developments, Obi had initially purchased the PDP’s nomination form for the 2023 elections.
However, he unexpectedly declared his departure from the party, triggering the events described by Akinwale.
The Labour Party candidate emphasized that Tinubu, renowned for his political strategizing, advised Utomi to step aside for Obi.
Akinwale suspected that Tinubu viewed Obi’s presidential candidacy as an opportunity to undermine Atiku Abubakar’s chances of winning the presidency.
Consequently, after resigning from the PDP and withdrawing from the presidential race, Obi switched to the Labour Party and entered the contest for the party’s presidential ticket.
In June 2022, Pat Utomi cleared the way for Obi, who became the uncontested presidential candidate of the Labour Party at a meeting held in Asaba, Delta State.
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