‘Obidient’ Movement Far Beyond Any Political Party— Peter Obi Fumes At LP’s Obidient' Directorate

By Damilare Adeleye

The 2023 presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, has distanced his group supporters known as ‘Obidient’ movement from belonging to any political party in Nigeria.

Obi, who stated this in a statement shared on his X account on Thursday, explained that the movement was not a directorate of any particular political party.

He noted that the movement is ‘far beyond’ any political party in the country.

It was recalled that on 30 May, the Labour Party announced the appointment of eight people it said would pilot the affairs of the 'Obidient' Directorate.

The party described the appointment as part of its repositioning efforts towards integrating millions of Nigerian youths, particularly the 'Obidient' family into the larger family of the Labour Party.

Among those listed as its appointees are Mr. Marcel Ngogbehei – Director; Amb. AJU Elumelu – Deputy Director, (Diaspora); Mrs Mariam Ismaila – Deputy Director; Mr. Chukwuemeka Gerald Okafor – Deputy Director; Mrs. Angel Innocent – Deputy Director; Mr. Tony Ashekomeh Jnr – Deputy Director; Mr. Emeka Ezechi – Deputy Director and Mr. Josiah Omenuwoma – Deputy Director.

Announcing the appointment, the Labour Party National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, explained that the directorate would coordinate the registration of all members of the Obidient community and integrate them fully into the structure of the party.

Ifoh also said it would ease diaspora participation in the affairs of the party, receive complaints and deal with same and where they are unable to deal with complaints, refer such to the leadership of the party.

Ifoh also said it would coordinate the collection of dues and donations to the party and ensure that all Obidients are financial members of the party.

“Work closely with the National Youth Leader, National Women Leader, and National Organizing Secretary in order to create programmes that will fully and effectively assimilate all members of the OBIDIENT family to the party," he said.

In reaction to the development, Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, said that anyone claiming to be at the helm of affairs of what he described as a “non-existent directorate” is not a member of the ‘Obidient’ movement.

According to him, the movement is more than a mere political party and is devoid of ethnic and religious affiliations.

“I like to categorically state that the Obidient Movement is not a directorate of any particular political party," he maintained.

"Any individual or individuals claiming to be leaders of this non-existent directorate are simply not members of the broader Obidient Movement.

"There may be a youth mobilisation directorate in political parties but the Obidient movement is far beyond a particular political party. The Obidient Movement is a diverse and inclusive collective that transcends traditional political, religious, and ethnic affiliations.

“It is not domiciled within any particular party or headquartered in any particular part of the country. Its membership spans across Africa and the globe, comprising individuals from various backgrounds, including rural communities, and public, private, and corporate entities, united by a shared vision for a New and better Nigeria,” he added.

He, however, stated the guiding ethos of 'Obidient' movement, saying it is guided by the “principles of adaptive and transformative change, progress, discipline, and democratic values, the Obidient Movement advocates for fairness, equity, inclusivity, and justice.”

He added that the movement is committed to holding the government responsible and accountable while serving as a beacon of hope for a better Nigeria.

The statement further read, “It is committed to a strictly accountable and responsible code of government. Our members are committed to contributing to the realization of a better future for Nigeria through the New Nigeria project, anchored on loyalty, integrity, and democratic values.

“The Obidient Movement seeks to foster positive change through a commitment to integrity, honesty, and accountability, rejecting deceitful behaviours.

“We serve as a beacon of hope for a reimagined Nigeria, where leadership is grounded in character, capacity, competence, compassion and the well-being of all citizens.

“Let this serve as a clarification that the Obidient Movement operates independently of any political party, and its membership is not limited to any particular affiliation. Our focus remains steadfast on driving positive change and promoting a New Nigeria for all. This is who we are and will remain for all time.”