On Wednesday, there was a small drama at the Lagos airport when supporters of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi and several party leaders were blocked from boarding a plane for their rally in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.
Following a notification that the jet had been grounded, Oseloka Obaze, the Deputy Director-General and Campaign Manager for the LP Presidential Campaign Organization, was the first to sound the alarm.
The former Nigerian diplomat tweeted on Wednesday that the “Obi-dent aircraft” had been grounded for “regulatory reasons” by the “powers that be.” When reached, Julius Abure, the party’s national chairman, confirmed the information.
He said, “We have just finished our rally in Ibadan. It is true that the plane meant to convey our NWC and NEC members for the campaign was grounded by the powers that be. But we were not deterred by the plane that was grounded.
“This is what we have been saying about this country. It is not the first time it is happening. They have been using every opportunity to ensure we don’t get to do anything in this country.”
Also, the Head of Media for Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation, Diran Onifade, released a statement to express the PCC’s displeasure at the turn of event.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, in reaction, refuted the accusations and stated that the plane belonged to a scheduled operator.
It said, “The so-called grounded plane belongs to a scheduled operator i.e. normal commercial flight. The flight crew of the said aircraft returned to the base on their own to check on an issue that developed soon after it took off. This is the normal and right thing to do. What they did is what we termed safety precautionary flight measures. NCAA was not involved in this decision.”
In the meantime, Obi assured citizens of his plan to secure the nation and bring its people together and pledged that if elected in 2023, he would not build on tribalism and religion.