By Akeem Abas
Ibadan, Feb. 4, 2023
The protest over scarcity of fuel and new naira notes rocking some parts of Ibadan, Oyo State, on Saturday stalled the appearance of Mr. Peter Obi, Labour Party (LP) Presidential candidate at a forum.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Obi was billed to attend a presidential parley organised by the South-West Development Stakeholders Forum (SWDSF) at Jogor Events Centre in Ibadan.
NAN reports that there were pockets of protests by some aggrieved youths across the city over non-availability of the new naira notes and fuel, which led to loss of lives and property.
Many supporters of Obi, who had thronged the venue of the forum since 8.00 a.m, went home disappointed, having sat for hours without seeing the presidential candidate due to security reasons.
Obi, whose chopper reportedly landed at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan in the afternoon, was prevented from featuring in the programme by his campaign Director-General, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, for security reasons.
Commenting, Mr. Adedayo Alao, the forum’s Chairman and Publisher of Alaroye Weekly Magazine, later dispersed Obi’s supporters, assuring them that the parley would be reconvened on another date.
Alao, however, decried the hardship which Nigerians were going through as a result of scarcity of fuel and new naira notes.
He said that Obi’s life was at risk due to possible hijack of the programme by unsuspecting elements.
Alao urged concerned authorities to prevail on the situation and entrench normalcy so as to enable the people to go about their lawful activities.
NAN reports that the platform was for the South-West people to hear directly from the candidates on how they intend to address issues of insecurity and the worsening quality of life in the region.
The parley aims at promoting the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN), a non-partisan blueprint jointly prepared by the six states in the geopolitical zone.
It is for the region’s security and socioeconomic development.
It also aims at championing the development plans of the South-West people and finding common grounds among the presidential manifestoes.
NAN also reports that Obi’s attendance would have made it a total of six presidential candidates that had featured on the Presidential parley series since it started on Jan. 17.