The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, reportedly gained a royal endorsement over the weekend when he visited the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Olalekan Balogun, and his Advisory Council members who are High Chiefs at his palace in Oyo State. A video circulating online showed an elder speaking on behalf of the Monarch blessing expressing his support for the presidential candidate. 

What they are saying 
The two-term governor of Anambra state during his speech made commitments, including putting up a strong fight against corruption and raising the levels of states to be the epicentre of activities. 

In his closing remarks, the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Eddy Oyewole, reportedly declared the unanimous endorsement of Mr. Peter Obi as the choice of the presidential candidate of the monarch and the entire Ibadan traditional council. 

Why it matters 
In terms of voting strength, the southwest region of Nigeria comprising six states including Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states, holds a strong pull as according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the region has 17.93 million voters, second, to the northwest’s 22.27 million registered voters.

  • Furthermore, the south west region of Nigeria, home to an ethnic group called the Yoruba, have an indigenous presidential candidate who is additionally the flag bearer of Nigeria ruling party in Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

State of play 
Peter Obi is contesting under the Labour Party, which has no presence in either governorships or state houses of assembly, two seats out of the 360 available in the House and just one out of the 109 available in the senate. On the flip side, presidential candidates of PDP and APC, Alhaji Atiku and Bola Tinubu have solid representation in the southwest 

However, Peter Obi’s chances of victory are much higher in reality, having reportedly won the hearts of many Nigerians, especially the youths, following his continuous charming display of eloquence, insight and enthusiasm. Analysts even believe that the former governor would largely challenge the southwest region with Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The region seems to be open to change following a public endorsement of Peter Obi over Tinubu by Afenifere, a socio-cultural organization for the Yoruba people of Nigeria. 

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