Imo Progressive Lawyers Association (IPLA) has explained that its endorsement of Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, stems from collective belief that he best represents the transformation that Nigeria badly needs.
In a statement signed by its President, Chris Okeke, and Publicity Secretary, Mathias Emeribe, IPLA urged Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic group, gender, religion, profession or colour, to come out on Saturday and cast their votes for the most competent candidate.
The statement reads: “IPLA calls on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Muhammadu Buhari and all security agencies to ensure a level-playing field for all political parties and their candidates during the general elections. We cannot afford to do otherwise.”
IPLA is an association of progressive lawyers of Imo extraction anywhere they may be found. It has continuously lived up to its mandate of responding to issues affecting governance and justice in Imo, South East and Nigeria in general.
The lawyers added: “Having been active observers and participants in social, economic and political developments in Imo and the country in general since inception of the association, we are interested in the 2023 general elections, including preparation, conduct and the final outcome. In line with these, we held a special general meeting on January 14, 2023, where sundry decision were reached, including the endorsement of Obi as president.”
The group noted that the presidential and National Assembly elections, scheduled to hold on Saturday, offer a glimmer of hope for the emergence of a new Nigeria.
It reiterated that the past eight years had been nightmarish, adding: “Across sectors such as economy, security, education, rule of law, human rights, food security and employment, the expected benefits promised to Nigerians were never delivered, as millions of citizens groaned in excruciating poverty.
“Consequently, the average Nigerian feels frustrated, tired, hopeless and desperate for a new Nigeria that works for all.”
Obi is among the front-runners of the presidential election. He is contesting against Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).