The governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Oyo State, Tawfiq Akinwale, on Wednesday stated that the “President-elect” Bola Tinubu asked popular economist, Prof Pat Utomi to step down for Peter Obi in the buildup to the 2023 general elections.
Akinwale made this revelation while he appeared as a guest on a radio programme on 101.7 YES FM, Ibadan, Oyo State, while alleging that Obi received campaign funds from Utomi, whom he described as Tinubu’s “son.”
The LP aspirant, who spoke in Yoruba language, said “In the buildup to the 2023 elections, Obi who had purchased the nomination form of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), suddenly announced his exit from the party.
“Initially, Pat Utomi had secured the LP’s presidential ticket, but when Peter Obi said he resigned from the PDP and joined the LP. Bola Tinubu, a master political strategist, quickly told Utomi, that everyone knows to be his son to step down for Obi.
“The “president-elect” saw in Obi’s presidential bid, a good chance to reduce the winning chances of the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
“What Peter Obi didn’t know is much more that what he knows, he started collecting campaign funds from Utomi, while Tinubu was giving the money to Utomi.
“This went on until Obi’s presidential campaign got to a stage it went beyond target. Obi was used without him knowing,” Akinwale said after announcing his departure from the party.
Obi defected to the LP after resigning his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and also withdrawing from the presidential race under the party.
The former governor consequently joined the race for the party’s presidential ticket, while Professor Pat Utomi, in June 2022 stepped down for him to emerge as the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, unopposed in Asaba, Delta State.