Tawfiq Akinwale, the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Oyo State, alleged on Wednesday that “President-elect” Bola Tinubu asked prominent economist Prof Pat Utomi to step down for Peter Obi in the run-up to the 2023 general elections.
This information was revealed by Akinwale while he was a guest on a radio show on 101.7 YES FM in Ibadan, Oyo State, where he said Obi had gotten campaign funding from Utomi, whom he called Tinubu’s “son.”
The Labour Party candidate, who spoke in Yoruba, claimed that in the run-up to the 2023 elections, Obi, who had paid for the PDP nomination form, abruptly declared his departure from the party.
He asserted that when Peter Obi declared he was leaving the PDP and joining the LP, Pat Utomi, who had initially been given the LP’s presidential ticket, withdrew from the race. Master political mastermind Bola Tinubu immediately asked Utomi, who everyone knows to be his son, to step aside for Obi.
He asserted that the President-elect believed that Obi’s presidential campaign offered him a strong opportunity to lessen Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential candidate, from winning the election.
“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 leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and withdrawing from the party’s Presidential primary, Obi joined the Labour Party (LP).
The former governor subsequently entered the contest for the party’s Presidential ticket, and Professor Pat Utomi withdrew in June 2022 to allow him to secure the Labour Party Presidential ticket in Asaba, Delta State, without any opposition.