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2023 Elections: Don’t Burn Your PVC, Naija Lives Matter Convener, Dr. Banwo Tells Obidients



Ope Banwo


Dr. Ope Banwo, the convener of Naija Lives Matter has called on supporters of Labour Party (LP), popular as Obidients to be strategic in their anger and not resort to burning their Permanent Voters Card (PVC).

He made the charge as a result of the widespread irregularities in the 2023 elections, and the oppression of supporters of Labour Party (LP).

In a statement released on Monday, March 20, Banwo who described the 2023 election as shambolic, added that burning their voters’ card would be the worst emotional reaction of Obidients to the election being challenged.

Also, he urged people not to second guess his motive saying; “I know Obidients are upset. I am upset too, but we must be strategic in our response. Please do not listen to anyone telling you to burn the only thing that allows you to participate in the process you want to change. Ask yourself, what would you use to vote if the court orders a rerun in some of these disputed results which I am 100 percent sure they will? ”

Calling on naive members of the Obidient movement who are still sleeping to wake up, Banwo who was a member of the LP Presidential Campaign Committee (PCC) in the 2023 presidential election said it’s time to wake up to the realities of hardball politics.

“We all saw APC use the odious Tribal Card of “Igbos Are Coming!” to neutralize our momentum in Lagos. We did not rise up with effective counters to that despicable political move early enough and it worked for them.

“So now, we must eat the breakfast, learn from it and then get better in our quest to birth a new approach to governance in Nigeria. Political transformation is not won by emotional knee-jerk reactions.

“In fighting for justice, we can’t burn the only thing that gives us the power to participate in the process, and I will not talk to anyone about anything other than a better One Nigeria.

“Many of us, myself included, may have started this 2023 election cycle as passionate political neophytes who just wanted a better country, but it’s time we grow up fast! Nobody holding power will hand it over without a fight or without exhausting their bag of tricks, much less a class of canny politicians led by a strategic behemoth like Jagaban,” Banwo added.

Noting that he could not speak for the ObIdient Movement since it had no central leader, Banwo assured that redress would be sought through all legal means including lawsuits, lawful protests against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for rigging elections, social agitation, but not End Nigeria or the burning of PVCs.

“We at Naija Lives Matter remain Obidient for this election cycle and will keep fighting for the Obidient mandate through legal processes as Peter Obi himself is doing.

“In 2023 we chose of our own free will to support and we still support Peter Obi because we believe that though he is not perfect himself, he represented the best candidate that best personified our ideals of all the candidates of all the parties on the ballot for 2023.

“It’s painful but we have no choice but to put our trust in the Nigerian legal system. Mandates have been recovered through the courts before and I believe we will win this one. So, let’s exhaust the legal options first before we even consider anything else,” Banwo concluded.

Naija Lives Matter is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) founded in 2011. With over 40,000 registered members, it is committed to the transformation of Nigeria’s national processes for a better life for all Nigerians in the areas of politics, religion, business, and everyday life.

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