Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State on Friday opened up on reason behind his refusal to felicitate with his predecessor now vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Peter Obi.
Newsworth recalls that former vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had after emerging as the PDP standard bearer announced Obi as his running mate, but the incumbent Anambra Governor has now revealed that he was withholding his congratulatory message because there was nothing to celebrate about being picked as vice presidential candidate.
Following loads of congratulatory messages that have come the way of Obi upon the announcement of his nomination by Abubakar, Obiano’s media aide, Mr James Eze, had disowned a Facebook post which showed Obiano as congratulating his predecessor over Obi’s elevation as VP candidate.
But explaining the reason for the refusal of his principal to do so, Special Adviser to the Anambra Governor on Political Matters, Barr Ifeatu Obi-Okoye insisted that there was nothing to be euphoric about a mere pick as a vice presidential candidate.
He pointed out that Obi was not yet a vice president, while also stressing that his party – the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, has its own presidential and vice presidential candidates, who those of the PDP cannot claim to be better than.
Obiano said, “Let’s get something clear; I don’t think Peter’s nomination as VP candidate calls for any congratulatory message. If he becomes the vice president, we will congratulate him.
“We (APGA) are running for the presidential election against PDP and we fielded a candidate who we believe can win the the PDP candidate, so we have no reason to celebrate Obi. Otherwise, we are saying we have already acknowledged that they will defeat us.
“But I want to say as you have mentioned that as someone who is from here, and who was in APGA, that if by any chance Obi becomes a VP, we will congratulate him. For now, we are in the trench, planning how we can win the election for APGA.
“You may not believe that we have chances, so also would you not have believed that a footballer would become the president of Liberia, or would you not have believed that the current president of Ghana would have defeated an incumbent.”
The governor’s aide maintained that there would be surprises in the 2019 polls, saying that nobody should rule out the chances APGA in the race.
“There are so many factors that will play out in 2019, the ethnic factor, security factor, the lack of governance, the inability of politicians to keep faith with the people.What we should all watch out for is that the election is not rigged,” he said.