The unprecedented ‘one-million march’ for Peter Obi, the face of the New Nigerian Movement and presidential candidate of the Labour party continued across Nigeria on Saturday with rallies in Lagos, Kaduna, Bauchi, Aba, Asaba, among other cities.
Never in the political history of Nigeria has it happened that ordinary Nigerians, who hold their leaders in contempt, would march for a candidate of a presidential election.
But the message of Mr. Obi, a former governor with a verifiable record of integrity and competence has resonated well with downtrodden Nigerians that they now believe that a New Nigeria is possible.
The rallies coincided with Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Day Anniversary, but the former dwarfed the later.
The Lagos rally, christened ‘4-million march’ was the largest of all, as Obidients also gathered briefly at the Lekki Tollgate, in defiance of police order despite heavy presence of armed security presence.
They started the walk, which caused a heavy gridlock, from the Admiralty Junction moving through the major road in Lekki.
They made stops at every junction waving flags, banners and other paraphernalia as they rally towards Jakande, Elegushi axis.
The crowd chanted, “We will not labour in vain, Peter Obi is the solution,” as they walked the streets of Lekki-Epe Expressway.
The Convener of the Peter Obi rally Eti-Osa Area, Mr Mickie Igwe, said it had gotten to a point of impossibility for Peter Obi to lose the 2023 presidential elections.
He said, “It is expedient that we do this campaign to show support for Peter Obi. We waited for campaigns to officially start so that we would be abiding by INEC’s regulations before coming out.
“At this point the candidates of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu and the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, do not stand a chance against Peter Obi.
“I’m not saying this to get people excited, but it is a fact. Before now in Nigeria, we had about 50 million Nigerians who were registered voters but do not vote. We also have seen a historic turnout of about 20 million Nigerians come out this year alone to register for their Permanent Voter’s Cards, all in support of Peter Obi.
“It is safe to say that Obi is the man the people want. The burden rests on the shoulders of INEC to ensure that this election is free and fair because we will be watching closely.”
A newly wedded couple joined the rally in Benin City, just like in Abuja last Saturday.
Recall that last weekend, Desmond Adamson and his newly wedded wife Blessing took Nigerians by surprise after they showed up at the Labour Party rally in Abuja minutes after pledging their wedding vows.
Obi later saluted them on his offical Twitter handle.
At the Benin rally, Obi’s supporters converged at the Famous Ring Road in the state capital waving flags of the Labour Party bearing photos of the former Anambra State governor and chanting solidarity songs.
The ‘two-million march’ in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State was a carnival of sorts, as the females dressed in traditional costumes were among those that marched from Water Fountain to Plaza, Ikot Ekpene road and other major roads.
The Labour party supporters gathered around the Water Fountain, Nwaniba which was the take-off point as early as 8am before moving to Plaza, the centre of Uyo, to Ikot Ekpene road and other major roads in the city, causing heavy go-slow which lasted for over two hours in every location.
In Bauchi, the physically challenged, market women and people from all walks of life thronged the busy roads of the Bauchi metropolis rallying support for the former Anambra Governor.
The supporters who trekked a 10km distance to the converging point at Rafin Zurfi on Saturday were screaming the slogan ‘we are not only on social media, we are real’.
Speaking shortly after the rally, the Chairman of the Labour Party in the state, Hussein Saraki said he was shocked to see the turnout of the supporters.
“Peter Obi will take us from consumption to production because we are tired of misrule. Just look at the crowd, I am surprised myself by what is happening in Bauchi. The day Peter will come it will be great. This movement has just started. We will take our country by the grace of God,” he said.
The crowd in Aba was remarkably massive as Obi supporters held a solidarity walk which started at Osisioma junction, Aba at 9 AM.