BEVERLY HILLS, January 28, (THEWILL) – Ayo Obe, a Lagos-based prominent legal practitioner and advocate for democratic principles has distanced herself from the Nigeria Intervention Movement, NIM, a “third force” movement seeking to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC in the 2019 general elections.
Some prominent members of the NIM are a former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke and a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba.
Obe’s post on her Facebook page reads:
“I am not a member of the Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM).
On several occasions I have asked NIM’s officers not to use either my name or my photograph to promote the group, but as an increasing number of people have been asking me whether I am connected with it, I think it best to clarify.
After NIM had been launched, I began to receive text messages inviting me to this meeting or that, and when I replied that I was not part of the NIM, its Director General, Wale Okunniyi, explained that he had been under the impression that one of the founders, Olisa Agbakoba, had spoken to me about it. As he had not, and I knew nothing about the group, I asked for material about what it stood for. Wale agreed to send me some information.
What he actually did was to subscribe me to some NIM’s WhatsApp groups, so that I began to receive (indeed, be inundated with) discussion which gave a fair idea of what it was about, and also, what motivated those who were active in it.
However, apart from posting #BringBackOurGirls Lagos notice about its special Christmas #SpeakOutSaturday to NIM’s WhatsApp group, I have not taken part in any of its social media discussions, I have not physically attended any NIM meetings, and I have not offered myself for appointment, election or selection into any of its offices or committees.
Despite this, my name and/or picture have been circulated on at least three occasions as having some position, or having been appointed to committees of the NIM. Each time I have complained to Wale Okunniyi, and he promised to correct the error.
Now, as more and more people have continued to ask me questions about NIM which I am neither able nor inclined to answer on its behalf, it seems clear that it is only the messages associating me with NIM that have reached, and remained with, the wider public. It is therefore incumbent on me to make it clear that I am not a member of NIM.
I may say that I am all for diversity and choice in Nigeria’s democratic space, and therefore welcome efforts to present the electorate with different ways of approaching politics in the country. To that extent, this clarification should not be taken as criticism that a group of Nigerians have taken it upon themselves to offer something new in the form of NIM. I wish the group well in its endeavours. But I am not one of its members, officers or supporters.”