The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has described the reported endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar by some South-East leaders as an affront on the Igbo nation.
In a statement Wednesday evening, APC said Atiku and his co-travellers in the PDP have become shameless by trying to fool a whole tribe to support her despite several years of the same characters failing people of the region.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu mocked Atiku and the opposition PDP over the said endorsement, stressing that “it will be interesting to know what the PDP will be telling the Igbo people during the campaign”.
He stated that the ruling party remains confident that a discredited party like the PDP would be confined to the dustbin of history by the Igbo.
“The APC considers Atiku and his PDP co-travellers as people who have lost any sense of shame. The purported endorsement of Atiku and PDP by some leaders of the South East for the 2019 general elections is an affront on the Igbo people who were frontline victims of the 16 years of the PDP misrule.
“The South East people have three and half years of visible progress in terms of massive infrastructure and the thousands of common people who are benefiting from the social investment programmes under APC to compare to the PDP’s 16 years of retrogression.
“We in APC are confident that the Igbo won’t be fooled by any group, by whatever name, to sell a thoroughly discredited party like the PDP to the very discerning Igbo people,” the APC spokesman said.
Newsworth reports that Igbo leaders from the five South-East states, under the auspices of Mkpoko Igbo, have endorsed the joint presidential ticket of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi for the 2019 general elections. They lamented the precarious situation the Igbo have found themselves in the country, in the face of their obvious exclusion from the centre in recent years, and, therefore, said the survival of Ndigbo in Nigeria depends on the actualisation of the Atiku/Obi presidency.
They spoke at a summit, which held yesterday, at Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu, with the theme: “Ndigbo 2019 and beyond,” and chaired by elder statesman, Prof. Ben Nwabueze. The event was attended by the cream of Igbo society, led by President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo.
Other prominent participants were the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, Senator Ben Obi, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Senator Chris Anyanwu, Chief Achike Udenwa, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Prof. Anya O. Anya, Chief Emeka Ugwu-Oji, Amb. Frank Ogbuewu, Amb. Lawrence Nwuruku, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Prof. A.B.C. Nwosu, Prof. Uche Azikwe, Amb. George Obiozor and former Ohanaeze president general, Chief Gary Igariwey.
A communiqué read by Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, stated that their vote for Atiku/Obi presidency in 2019 was based on the restructuring agenda the duo have put on the table, which the four geopolitical zones of the country has already agreed on.
“The summit deliberated on the state of Ndigbo in Nigeria, today, especially after years of exclusion from the centre. This country has never been so divided, as it is today. We Igbo have always yearned for a level-playing field with justice, equity and fairness.
“It was acknowledged that this nomination puts Ndigbo back in the centre of governance. It is, therefore, important that Ndigbo should rally behind the Atiku/Obi ticket.”
In his address at the meeting, Prof Ben Nwabueze begged Ndigbo to ensure the victory of the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in next year’s presidential election, stressing that: “This is my last wish before I join my ancestors”.
He continued, “We want Nigeria to be united, but we have to survive first. Our campaigns and agitations are for our survival. The Atiku/Obi ticket is for the survival of Ndigbo. It is our determination to ensure its success by mobilising the entire Igbo to vote for them; and with their success, you would have done me the greatest honour.
“At my age, there is nothing any longer that I should pursue except the good of my people in Nigeria, and this is the path to it. Please do me the honour of that ticket before I answer my final call, and I will be happy. When you leave here, go back to your villages and communities and say to them that Ndigbo must survive in Nigeria, and the only way to ensure their survival is to deliver the Atiku/Obi ticket in 2019. I assure you I will rest in peace in my grave when this is done because it would have liberated Ndigbo.”