From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State was literarily lock down on Friday as a result of the one million man march embarked upon by supporters of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP).

Supporters of the LP presidential candidate and members of a pro Governor Okezie Ikpeazu group, OVI Organization, had as early as 7am gathered at different locations in the outskirts of the city, from where they marched for over 9 kilometres before later in the day converged at the city centre.

While some converged at the Osisioma Junction, others gathered at Port Harcourt Road and Opobo Junction from where they moved round the streets of the city, before meeting on Asa Road.

The crowd marched through Aba/Owerri Road to Asa and Azikiwe Roads, before heading towards the Ogbor Hill axis of the city.

People who lined both sides of the streets, cheered as the crowd who were singing solidarity songs for Peter Obi, passed by.

Obi’s supporters who took part in the march, cut across party line as people from different political parties, businessmen and youths were involved in the march.

One of such groups was that of the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, the OVI (Okezie Victor Ikpeazu) Organization who were on at the rally in support of Peter Obi.

Chisom Amalahu, Coordinator of OVI Organization said with the way things are going currently, it is of necessity and political expedience that such decisions to support Peter Obi should be taken despite the party differences.

“We’re here to tell people that we’re tired of how things are done in this country. As you’ve seen today, the expectation was for a million march but we’ve recorded above the expectations because almost everybody came out for Obi.

“We don’t care about anything else be it a party or whatever as long as the presidential election is concerned. What we the OVI Organization did today is to show others what should be done. It is authoritative and nobody can fault it.

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“This action has shown that the Governor of Abia State cannot because of his party, lose sympathy for the desire of the majority. OBidient is a movement. It’s not a political party. It covers non-members of the Labour Party so, it’s not about the Labour party.

“OVI group supporting Peter Obi will not affect his party in the state. We’re only aligning ourselves with the interests of the majority of Nigerians. The signals are there. The signs are there that almost everyone is with Peter Obi.”

A member of the OBidient movement, Anayochukwu Ezenyi, hailed the decision of the OVI Organization, saying it is the best form of politics where national interest is placed above personal desires.

“I came here in solidarity with the man of the moment, Mr Peter Obi who the Nigerian youths and most Nigerians have decided that he should lead them. However, I’m happy to see what is happening today where people drop personal interest for the interest of the majority.

“The truth of the matter is that most of the governors in PDP, APC and other parties may be telling people that they belong to party A or Party B, but as far as the presidential election is concerned, almost everybody is going for the best and Obi is the best.

“Its not anything to surprise anybody that Okezie Ikpeazu’s Organization is supporting Peter Obi. Since we have done this I think it will be right for the Obi-dient Movement to also support Ikpeazu”.

One of those who witnessed the rally, CY Ukala said he was optimistic Peter Obi will win the 2023 presidential election.

Ukala who expressed fear that Obi might be denied the presidency after winning the election, was quick to add that could lead to a war that will herald the end of Nigeria as a country.

Some of the supporters carried playcards with such inscription, “Nigeria settle us with Peter Obi”, “If you are Obi-dient, you can be useful”, “INEC please allow God to use you”, “Obi-dient all the way”, “vote out bad leaders”, and “Nigerians take back your country”.

As the march progressed, the crowd were chanting songs like “kerenke Obi…, “We are the structure, “We no dey give shishi”, while at the same time pleading with motorist and passersby to be obi-dient.