Comprehensive Profile Of Labour Party Presidential Candidate: Peter Obi & Vice Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed
Born in Onitsha in 1961, Obi graduated from the University of Nigeria in 1984. Afterwards he entered business and banking, eventually rising to hold several high-ranking executive positions at banks. By the early 2000s, Obi was the chairman of Fidelity Bank before leaving the position to enter politics. Obi ran for governor in 2003, as a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance but his main opponent was unlawfully declared victor. After three years of legal battles, Obi was declared winner in 2006 and assumed office that March. He was then impeached that November before the impeachment was overturned and he returned to office in February 2007. Again, Obi was removed when a new election was held in April 2007 but the judiciary intervened again and ruled that he should be allowed to complete a full four-year term. In 2010, he won re-election to a second term. Obi’s terms were marked by improvements in state finances, education, and healthcare.
Peter Gregory Obi CON (born 19 July 1961) is a Nigerian businessman and politician who served as the Governor of Anambra State three separate times from 2006 to 2014. In May 2022, he became the Labour Party nominee for President of Nigeria in the 2023 presidential election.
After leaving office in 2014, Obi gained new status as an advocate for good governance and national political figure after decamping to the Peoples Democratic Party in 2014. In 2019, he was selected as the vice presidential nominee in the presidential election running alongside Atiku Abubakar, but lost to incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari and vice president Yemi Osinbajo. By 2022, Obi ran for president himself, first in the PDP until defecting to the LP in May 2022.
Early life and education
Peter Obi was born on 19 July 1961 at Onitsha. He attended Christ the King College, Onitsha, where he completed his secondary school education. He was admitted to the University of Nigeria, in 1980, graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in philosophy in 1984.
Peter Obi attended Lagos Business School, where he completed the Chief Executive Program, Harvard Business School, where he completed two major programs, the London School of Economics, Columbia Business School, and the International Institute for Management Development where he received certificates in the Senior Executive Program and the Chief Executive Officer Program. He also attended the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University, Said Business School of Oxford University and the Judge Business School of Cambridge University.
Peter Obi was a businessman before he ventured into politics. According to Peter Obi, he started his life as a trader, being born into trading family before venturing into the corporate world. He held leadership positions in some private establishments. Some of the companies he served includes: Next International Nigeria Ltd, Chairman and Director of Guardian Express Mortgage Bank Ltd, Guardian Express Bank Plc, Future View Securities Ltd, Paymaster Nigeria Ltd, Chams Nigeria Ltd, Data Corp Ltd and Card Centre Ltd. He was the youngest chairman of Fidelity Bank Plc.
Peter Obi contested in the Anambra State Governorship Election as a candidate for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) party in 2003, but his opponent, Chris Ngige of the People’s Democratic Party, was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
After nearly three years of litigation, Ngige’s victory was overturned by the Court of Appeal on 15 March 2006. Obi took office for on 17 March 2006. On 2 November 2006, he was impeached by the state house of assembly after seven months in office and was replaced the next day by Virginia Etiaba, his deputy, making her the first-ever female governor in Nigeria’s history. Obi successfully challenged his impeachment and was re-instated as the governor on 9 February 2007 by the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu. Etiaba handed power back to him after the court ruling.
Peter Obi once again left office on 29 May 2007 following the General Elections, in which Andy Uba was declared the winner by the electoral body. Obi returned to the courts once more, this time contending that the four-year tenure he had won in the 2003 elections only started to run when he took office in March 2006. On 14 June 2007 the Supreme Court of Nigeria upheld Obi’s contention and returned Obi to office. This brought to an abrupt end the tenure of Obi’s successor, Andy Uba whose 14 April 2007 election the Supreme Court nullified on the grounds that Obi’s four-year tenure should have remained undisturbed until March 2010.
On 7 February 2010, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Peter Obi the winner of the 2010 Anambra State Gubernatorial election, where he defeated Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, former governor, CBN. This election victory gave Governor Obi an additional four years as the governor of Anambra State. On 17 March 2014 Peter Obi served out his second term and handed over the governorship to Willie Obiano.
After the 2015 General Election, President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Peter Obi as the chairman of the Nigerian Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).
2019 Presidential Elections
On 12 October 2018, Peter Obi was named as the running mate to Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s Presidential Candidate in the Nigerian 2019 Presidential elections. His party came second.
2023 Presidential Elections
On 24 March 2022, Peter Obi declared his intention to run for the position of President of Nigeria under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, but later pulled out and announced he would be running under the Labour Party platform instead. According to the Peoples Gazette, Peter Obi wrote to the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party on 24 May to resign his membership. Obi reportedly complained of massive bribing of delegates and vote buying at party’s presidential primary, citing the existence of a party clique collaborating against him.
Awards and honors
These are some of the notable awards of Peter Obi
Sun Newspaper’s Man of the Year (2007)
This Day Newspaper’s Most Prudent Governor in Nigeria (2009)
This Day’s Governor of the Decade (2020)
Champion Newspaper’s Nigeria’s Most Trustworthy Governor (2009)
West Africa ICT Development Award for Governor of the Year (2010)
Zik Leadership Prize (2011)
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Best Performing Governor on Immunization in South-East Nigeria (2012)
Ezeife Leadership Foundation’s Leadership and Good Governance Award (2012)
Methodist Church of Nigeria’s Golden Award on Prudence (2012); Business Hallmark Newspaper’s Man of the Year (2012)
Silverbird’s Man of the Year (2013)
The Voice Newspaper’s Award for Outstanding Example in Leadership and Governance (2014)
Champion Newspaper’s Most Outstanding Igbo Man of the Decade (2014)
Nigerian Library Association’s Golden Merit Award (2014)
Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester Pope and Martyr (2014)
Catholic Diocese of Onitsha’s Golden Jubilee Award (2015)
Peter Obi married Margaret Brownson Obi (née Usen) in 1992. They have two children – a boy and a girl. Obi is a Catholic of Igbo descent.
Educational Institutions Attended
Christ the King College, Onitsha (W.A.S.C)
University of Nigeria, Nsukka (B.A. Philosophy)
Lagos Business School, Nigeria (Chief Executive Program)
Harvard Business School, Boston, U.S.A. (Mid to Mid Marketing)
Harvard Business School, Boston, U.S.A. (Changing the Game)
London School of Economics (Financial Mgmt/Business Policy)
Columbia Business School, New York, U.S.A. (Marketing Mgmt )
Institute for Management Development, Switzerland (Senior Executive Program)
Institute for Management Development, Switzerland (Break-Through Program for CEOs)
Kellogg Graduate School of Management, U.S.A. (Advanced Executive Program)
Kellogg School of Management U.S.A. (Global Advanced Mgmt Program)
Oxford University: Said Business School, (Advanced Mgmt& Leadership Program)
Cambridge University: George Business School (Advanced Leadership Program)
Governor, Anambra State of Nigeria (2006-2014)
Honorary Special Adviser to the President on Finance (till May, 2015)
Member, Presidential Economic Management Team (till May, 2015)
Vice-Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (2008-2014)
Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum (2006-2014)
Former Chairman: Board of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Former Chairman: Fidelity Bank Plc
Former Chairman: Guardian Express Mortgage Bank, Ltd.
Former Chairman: Future Views Securities, Ltd.
Former Chairman: Paymaster Nigeria Plc.
Former Chairman: Next International (Nigeria) Ltd
Former Director: Guardian Express Bank Plc
Former Director: Chams Nigeria Plc.
Former Director: Emerging Capital Ltd.
Former Director: Card Centre Plc
Membership Of Professional Associations/Organizations
Member, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG)
Member, Nigerian Chartered Institute of Bankers
Member, British Institute of Directors (IOD)
Membership Of Federal Government Committees
In my capacity as the Governor of Anambra State, I served as a member of:
Federal Government Committee on Minimum Wage.
Federal Government Committee on Negotiation with Labour on Subsidy.
Federal Government Committee on Mass Transit.
Federal Government Committee on Natural Resource.
National Economic Council Committee on Power Sector Reform.
National Economic Council Committee on Sharing of MDGs Funds.
National Economic Council Committee on Accurate Data on Nigeria’s Oil Import and Export.
Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council.
Sub-Committee on Needs Analysis of Public Universities in Nigeria.
National Economic Council Review Committee on the Power Sector.
Awards & Recognition
2015: Golden Jubilee Award from Catholic Diocese of Onitsha for outstanding contribution to quality healthcare delivery in St. Charles Borromeo Hospital in particular and Anambra State in general, on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee celebration of the hospital.
2014: Nigerian Library Association Golden Merit Award for remarkable improvement of libraries in Anambra State, exemplified by our Government’s construction of the Kenneth Dike Digital State Library, remarkable upgrade of the Onitsha Divisional Library, and provision of library facilities in secondary schools across the State.
2014: Champion Newspaper Most Outstanding Igbo Man of the Decade.
2014 The Voice Newspaper (Holand) Achievers Award for Outstanding Example in Leadership and Governance.
2013: Silver Bird Man of the Year (with Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State).
2012: Business Hallmark Newspaper Man of the Year.
2012: The Golden Award on Prudence – by the Methodist Church of Nigeria as the Most Financially Prudent Governor in Nigeria.
2012: Leadership and Good Governance Award by The Ezeife Leadership Foundation Award for restoring peace and harmony to Anambra State.
2012: Best Performing Governor on Immunization in South-East Nigeria – by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
2012: Outstanding Financial Planner and Manager – by the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion for my resourcefulness and creativity in governance.
2011: Zik Leadership Prize
2010: ICT Governor of the Year – by the West Africa ICT Development Award.
2009: Champion Newspaper Nigeria’s Most Trustworthy Governor Award.
2009: Thisday Newspaper Most Prudent Governor in Nigeria.
2007: The Sun Newspaper Man of the Year Award.
The Nigerian MDGs Office/UNDP Best Governor in the Implementation of the MDGs in Nigeria
Introduction Of Constitutional And Other Major Changes In Nigerian Politics
He was the first gubernatorial candidate in Nigeria to legally challenge to its logical conclusion, his governorship electoral victory that was denied him. He won in the Courts and reclaimed his mandate.
He was the first Governor in Nigeria to legally challenge his wrongful impeachment and was reinstated by the Courts.
He was the first Governor in Nigeria to seek the interpretation of tenures of Governors when INEC allowed elections to take place in Anambra State when his tenure had not expired; the election already concluded was cancelled and he was allowed to complete his tenure.
He was the first Governor to serve a 2nd term in both the new and old Anambra State, that is, almost 40 years after creation of the State.
He was the first Governor, whilst still in Office, to be appointed a Special Adviser to the President.
He was the first serving Governor to be appointed into the Presidential Economic Management Team.
He was among the first Governors to be honoured with a National Award in 2011, while still in office.
Though the only Governor whose political party was in government in only one State, he was elected Vice-Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum twice.
Though the only non-PDP Governor in the South-East (made up of 5 States), he was elected by the other 4 PDP Governors as their Chairman for 8 years rather than the usual one year.
Fundamental Achievements As Governor Of Anambra State (Partial Listing)
Anambra was the first State to commence Sub-Sovereign Wealth savings, the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa. At a time many other Governors were leaving huge debts, I left the equivalent of $500 million Dollars in investment as well as local and foreign currency, including $156 million in Dollar-denominated bonds.
For the first time in the history of Anambra State, Ambassadors and High Commissioners of notable countries such as United States, Britain, Russia, European Union, South Africa, Belgium, Israel, the Netherlands, Canada, among others, visited the State. Before my tenure, Anambra was practically a pariah state blacklisted by the Diplomatic Corps and international development partners.
Development partners such as UNDP, UNICEF, the World Bank, DFID, the European Union etc., which hitherto were not in Anambra State started working with the State. Anambra was consistently adjudged one of the best states in development partnership and commitment to reforms for good governance.
He was recognised as Best Governor by the Millennium Development Goals Office (OSSAP-MDGs) and the UNDP in the implementation of their programmes in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Debt Management Office (DMO) rated Anambra as the least indebted state in Nigeria. In spite of visible and measurable achievements recorded in various sectors, the State under him did not borrow or raise bonds for her various projects.
The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria rated Anambra State as the most financially stable state in the country.
The State’s ground-breaking return of schools to their original owners – Voluntary Agencies (Churches) on 1st January 2009, and subsequent partnership with the Agencies in Education, saw the State move from 24th position out of 36 States to Number One in National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations for three consecutive years. This made the World Bank to commission a study, led by the renowned Prof. Paul Collier of Oxford University, on this revolutionary partnership and phenomenal achievement.
The State also entered into strategic partnership with the Churches in the Health sector. This symbiotic relationship resulted in a tremendous boost to health care because of the services offered by health institutions owned by Voluntary Agencies, while the State restored grants to the agencies and made available to them more than 50 million Dollars in various types of support.
Through partnership with the Church in the Health sector, his Government funded the transformation of -:
- Iyienu Hospital, Ogidi.
- Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Ihiala.
- St Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha.
- Holy Rosary Hospital, Waterside, Onitsha.
- St. Joseph Hospital, Adazi-Nnukwu.
His Government also built the Joseph Nwilo Heart Centre in St. Joseph, Adazi-Nnukwu, where heart operations are now being performed.
His Government won the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (1 Million dollars) as the best-performing state in immunisation in the South-East. With complementary funding from our Government, they used the money to build 10 Maternal and Child Care Centres across the State, particularly in rural communities, in partnership with the Churches.
The State was the first to procure and distribute more than 30,000 computers to secondary schools, including 22,500 from HP. The Managing Director for Personal Systems Group HP Inc, Mr. FabriceCampoy described the deployment as the biggest of such projects in the Middle-East and Africa.
Anambra State Government provided Microsoft Academies to more than 500 secondary schools, which the Head of Microsoft in Nigeria (Mr. Ken Span) described as the biggest such deployment in Africa so far.
The State provided Internet access to more than 500 secondary schools, which the CEO of Galaxy Backbone (Mr. Gerald Ilukwe) characterized as incomparable to any in the country.
More than 700 buses were provided to secondary schools in the State by our Government.
Boreholes were provided in schools all over the State.
Numerous classrooms were built in all the 177 communities of the State.
As part of the efforts to turn around the economy of the State, a number of companies were attracted to build their facilities in the Anambra State. A case in point is SABMiller, the 2nd largest brewery in the world, which built their first Green Field facility in the State, which is today one of the most successful facilities they operate globally.
A number of other companies followed the SABMiller initiative and were all supported and encouraged under our Government; a good example is INNOSON Motor Manufacturing Company, from which our government bought more than 1,000 vehicles.
Anambra State for the first time started close collaboration with recognized government security agencies (the Police, Army, Navy, Department of State Security, Civil Defence, among others), offering them various types of support including provision of more than 500 security vehicles. The improvement in security was phenomenal, such that the former IG of Police (Abubakar Mohammed) lauded Anambra State for not witnessing any bank robbery in my last three years in office
To further enhance security, Anambra State provided at least one security vehicle to each of all the 177 communities in the State as well as various organizations such as markets and Churches.
His Administration conceived and built, from scratch, the first state-owned Teaching Hospital, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu teaching Hospital, Awka.
His Government commenced the planned development of the Igbariam Campus of the ChukwuemekaOdumegwu-Ojukwu University, including the fencing, construction of internal roads, electrification, construction of the Faculty of Law, Auditorium, Administrative Block, Faculty of Agriculture, Management Building, among others).
His Government attracted the World Bank support on erosion – National Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) – to Anambra State.
His Government was the first to do Poverty Mapping in Nigeria, as a guide for the effective implementation of our poverty-alleviation strategies.
His Government, for the first time, undertook the aerial mapping of Awka as well as the production of Structure Plans for Awka Capital Territory, Onitsha and Nnewi.
During his tenure and with his Government’s support, Anambra State became an oil producing State.
He built the first Secretariat Complex to house State Government Ministries that were hitherto scattered around the State.
His government commenced the development of the ‘Three Arms Zone’ comprising Government House/Governor’s Lodge, Legislative Building/Speakers Residence, and Judiciary Building with Chief Judge’s Residence.
By the end of his tenure in 2014, more than twelve (12) health institutions, including two hospitals, had secured accreditation; when we took off in 2006, no health institution in Anambra State was duly accredited.
Anambra State was the first to undergo national peer review, which scrutinised State Governments for good governance, through the State Peer Review Mechanism (SPRM), an initiative of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum in collaboration with the DFID…
Vice Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed
Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed is a Nigerian economist and politician who served as Senator for Kaduna North from 2011 to 2012 and member of the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2007. A member of the Labour Party, he is the party’s vice presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential election running alongside Peter Obi.
From the prominent Baba-Ahmed family of Zaria, Baba-Ahmed graduated from the University of Maiduguri. After schooling, he worked in business and banking for several years before entering politics. Baba-Ahmed was elected as House of Representatives member for Zaria in 2003; while in the position, he became known for speaking out against corruption and the Third Term Agenda. After leaving office in 2007, Baba-Ahmed continued advocating for good governance while returning to his Baze business grouping and founding Baze University. By 2011, he moved back to politics and successfully ran for Senator for Kaduna North; however, the electoral tribunal overturned his victory and he left office in 2012. After an unsuccessful presidential campaign in the 2019 PDP primary, Baba-Ahmed joined the Labour Party in 2022 to become Obi’s running mate.
Early life and Education
Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed was born to the Baba-Ahmed family in Zaria in the 1970s. He is among the thirty-three children of his father, Baba Ahmed, was an Arab cattle-trader from modern-day Mauritania who later became a notable professor and expert on Islamic jurisprudence.
Baba-Ahmed has a BSc and MSc in Economics from the University of Maiduguri in Borno State. He worked in the security Printing and Minting, Lagos before entering politics.
In 2006, while a Federal representative, he earned the title of Doctor of Philosophy when he completed his PhD studies at the University of Westminster.
Baba-Ahmed was elected in April 2003 to the Federal House of Representatives for the Zaria Federal Constituency, Kaduna State. He ran on the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) platform.
Baba-Ahmed was popular for his principled activism. During the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, he was among lawmakers who opposed letting Obasanjo run for a third term. In May 2006 he said he would not run for reelection unless action was taken to investigate allegations that members had been bribed to support the constitutional changes needed for a third term presidency. In 2007 he took the Independent National Electoral Commission to court over conduct of past elections. Baba-Ahmed contested and won the Kaduna North Senatorial elections in 2011 under Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) which was then led by President Muhammadu Buhari; the election was challenged at the court by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which lead to Ahmed’s controversial victory being upturned. In 2018, he ran unsuccessfully for the Presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He recently lost his quest as a gubernatorial aspirant vying to run under the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) for the 2023 governorship elections in Kaduna State. In July 2022, he was appointed as the vice president running mate of Labour Party in the 2023 Nigeria General election.
Speaking at an Islamic media forum in Abuja in September 2008, Baba-Ahmed called on journalists to fearlessly submit accurate reports. He said that corruption in the country is endemic, and special prayers and determination from all stakeholders are needed to correct the situation. Baba-Ahmed became the Managing Director of Baze Research and Data Services Ltd.
Baba-Ahmed was founder and Pro–Chancellor of Baze University, an independent university located in Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria which opened in April 2011. Citing his studies abroad as a benchmark, he said that the Nigerian educational system was “appalling” and that this inspired him to start Baze University.
In the April 2011 elections, Baba-Ahmed polled 366,398 votes in the contest for Senator for Kaduna North. Runner-up Senator Ahmed Makarfi of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the incumbent, polled 365,043 votes.