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Mr. Yunusa Tanko who is the chief spokesman of the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign Organisation, has debunked claims that his principal betrayed the late former Biafran leader, Odumegwu Ojukwu, for dumping the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the party that brought him into the political limelight.
Tanko’s rebuttal came less than 24 hours after the leadership of Biafra Independence Movement and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra accused Obi and former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, of betraying their late leader of the party by defecting from APGA after serving as governors of their respective states.
The accusation was made in a statement by BIM-MASSOB Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mazi Mocha.
Mocha said if not for Ojukwu, Obi would not have become the governor of Anambra State in 2003.
BIM-MASSOB lamented that it was unimaginable watching Obi defect to the Peoples Democratic Party to become the vice presidential candidate to Atiku Abubakar a few months after the death of the founder of APGA in November 2011.
The Biafran group also said it was regrettable that the LP presidential candidate never acknowledged Ojukwu’s role whenever he talked about how he reclaimed his governorship mandate in the court.
But Tanko defended the LP presidential flag bearer in an with reporters, saying that it was inappropriate to label Obi a betrayal for aspiring to move to party with a nationalistic appeal.
He said, ‘Obi is not a betrayer at all. In fact, BIM-MASSOB should be happy that Obi is a product of APGA that is now sellable to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
‘On a second thought, I think this particular case MASSOB cited happened when they were all in APGA before 2011. As a nationalist, I was not in APGA but privileged to have followed the proceedings there.
‘Peter Obi, in this regard, was thinking of a nationalist political party. I don’t see any wrong in that. For someone who wants to aspire to lead this country, he must be forward-thinking.
‘But APGA has remained a regional party that has refused to spread its tentacles around the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
‘If you want to move yourself to the national level, you must look for a political party that is nationalistic in view. I think Peter Obi was strategic in choosing the Labour Party considering the fact that it represents the interest of all Nigerian workers, which cuts across ethnic groups and religious lines.
‘Thirdly, whether there were funds spent individually or collectively when they were in APGA, we don’t know. It could be true and it might turn out to be false. There may also be a reason why Obi said he didn’t spend money the way politicians are doing now to reclaim his governorship mandate.’