A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adakole Ijogi, said the Middle Belt Forum has directed the people of the area to vote for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
He also said he would vote for the former Anambra State governor on February 25 and expressed doubt on the chances of his party’s flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar.
“The leadership of the Middle Belt Forum has resolved that for the presidential election, it is not about party this time around, it’s about candidate.
“So, the Middle Belt people have been directed to vote for former governor, Peter Obi of the Labour Party for only the presidential election. Then in other elections they have been advised to vote for the PDP. So, we will be voting for Obi,” he said on Channels Television’s The 2023 Verdict on Wednesday.
The leadership of the Middle Belt Forum alongside other regional groups like Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum had earlier in February endorsed Obi.
Ijogi, who is a political economist, claimed that about 50% of PDP members would not be voting for Atiku, saying that they will vote for Obi because he stands out among the other candidates.
He said the decision of the Middlebelt Forum concerning the 2023 presidential election transcends political party and that the people have gone through a whole lot in the last few years, including killings and kidnappings, among others.
Ijogi noted that Obi has made successful inroads in the Middle Belt and would get the votes which hitherto went to the PDP.
The Middle Belt in Nigeria include Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, amongst others. Already, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has endorsed Obi for President.
“When you look at the 2019 election PDP and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar got over 25% in the six states of the North Central and FCT. If you look at the North-East, the PDP and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar could only pull 25% in three states, his home state of Adamawa, Taraba and Gombe; he had 9% in Yobe, 9% in Borno and then when you go to the North-West it was also like that.
“Just Sokoto, Jigawa and Kaduna, and even in Kaduna it is Southern Kaduna which is part of the Middlebelt, and these are the areas the Peter Obi movement has now occupied. So I will tell you that the Middle-Belt is highly and very unlikely to vote PDP this coming election,” Ijogi added.