The Director-General of Peter Obi’s presidential campaign council, Akin Osuntokun, has admitted that the Labour Party could not pay many of its polling unit agents on election day due to financial constraints.
He said the party and Obi’s campaign “never had the money” to remunerate all agents nationwide.
Responding to claims that available funds were mismanaged by LP executives, Osuntokun said he was unaware of such information. He clarified that while some funds were available, they had to be carefully allocated and didn’t extend to all areas.
Osuntokun explained that most Obi supporters who served as unpaid agents were not official LP members but ‘Obidients’ driven by idealism. He contrasted them to certain “machinery” elements focused on money. The mix of motives caused internal party conflicts, he stated.
On a positive note, Osuntokun mentioned assisting an agent whose hand was cut-off during violence in Lagos by raising N1 million for his treatment. He said Obi’s team also aided other injured supporters amidst limitations.
The campaign DG asserted it was unrealistic to expect full nationwide agent payments given the grassroots movement’s short preparation time for the elections. He, however, took responsibility for underestimating the funding challenge which undermined LP’s ability to monitor votes at some polling units.