By Osigwe Omo-Ikiroda
As we approach the general elections, there appears to be no end in sight to the multiple financial crises trailing the LP. Amidst accusations by party members of financial misappropriation of funds by the party executives and, by extension, the presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, a new crisis is brewing in Edo State.
Esan Youth Mandate For Peter Obi, Edo North Obi Support Group, Oredo United For Obi/Datti, and Obi/Datti Integrity Support Group are four groups against whom various members have made complaints.
An anonymous WhatsApp group member accused the Oredo United For Obi/Datti leadership, led by one Itohan, of stealing over ten million naira intended for a street walk that never transpired. According to the member, she issued an appeal in early September asking members to donate toward a street walk across the wards in Oredo Federal Constituency.
She estimated the cost of mobilization and other logistics to be 5 million naira, but she received more donations from the diaspora, who saw the target as a challenge, with no fewer than seven support groups approached in the diaspora making contributions.
According to our source, Itohan began acting strangely when the rally was not forthcoming. Itohan stated that it would be preferable if they waited until the formal start of electoral campaigns before conducting such a massive road walk.
Following that, She began her pranks by muting the group so that only moderators could make comments, in which she tried to rationalize the long delay of the scheduled solidarity walk.
Every day, the member claimed that she was creating one excuse after another until it was discovered that she had already begun spending from the money on PR for the Whasapp group, which is not even an officially registered support organization of the Obi presidential campaign.
She said that over N4 million had already been spent on this, with many bloggers, vloggers, other influencers, and even skit makers collaborating. She also states that the relevant agencies have begun formal registration of the support group.
Unsatisfied, it was said, members tried to track Itohan down to where she lived, only to discover that Itohan is currently in one of the European countries, in what appears to be a clear example of bolting with contributions from followers.
The worrisome situation is that Itohan’s case was not isolated, as more research found that the three other groups stated above had similar difficulties with their Whasapgrpoup moderators. Like the LP PR said, what is currently playing out in the LP is that members are aware that Peter Obi cannot win a single state and have transformed the entire plan into a PONZI scheme in which members are fleeced owing to their ignorance.
Trouble appears to be brewing, as these members of the group have decided to spoil for war if nothing is done to bring the admin members to justice. The total money involved in this scheme is estimated to be more than 22 million.
These endemic incidents, such as the Labour Party’s top chieftain opining the other day that members of the party are aware that Peter Obi cannot win a single state, and therefore their hurry to cash in on any available lead, may be what is playing out here; do share your opinions with us.
Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah is the Chairman and CEO of Bush Radio Academy.