The leadership of apex lgbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has described the statement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, that his emergence in 2023 would be “a stepping stone” to Igbo Presidency as laughable and diversionary.
Ohanaeze was reacting to Atiku’s comment during his address at PDP South-East Stakeholders Meeting held in Enugu on Tuesday.
But a statement made available to News Express by Ohanaeze Youth Council President- General, Mazi Okechukwu Isigozoro, noted that all the opinion polls conducted so far show that Mr Peter Obi, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party (LP), is in early lead ahead of next February’s ballot.
According to the statement, Obi is not running as an Igbo presidential candidate but as the “real unifier” and the face of the Obidient movement, a new Nigeria movement that transcends ethnic, religious and political party divides, like none before it.
Ohanaeze’s statement reads in part: “How can Atiku claim to be ‘a stepping stone to a futuristic Igbo Presidency’ when Nigerians united across ethno-religious lines overwhelmingly support to Mr Peter Obi, the Labour Party, LP, Presidential candidate as President of Nigeria, come 2023, not merely because of ethnicity but because of what he represents – fresh hope for a New Nigeria?
“How can Atiku be a stepping stone when all recent polls show him, not even coming next to Obi but a distant third?
“Foremost Nigerian thought leader and aviation entrepreneur and as well the erstwhile Chairman/CEO, 7STAR Hangar/Airlines, Engr Isaac David Balami, captured the mood of the nation two days ago when he said he was endorsing Mr Peter Obi based on 3Cs; Competence, Credibility and Capacity.
“In terms of competence, credibility and capacity, Mr Peter Obi is in a world of his own. Neither Atiku of the PDP nor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, comes close to him.
“Sincerely, Nigerians are really yearning for a Third Force Presidency due to their terrible experience under the APC and PDP Governments since 1999. Engr Rabiu Kwankwaso, of the New Nigeria Democratic Party, NNPP, even has a stronger presidential profile based on the 3Cs than those of the old Brigade like Atiku and Tinubu.”
The statement further stated that Atiku Abubakar should realize that the Obidient train has left him behind, adding that there is no longer time to talk about Igbo Presidency, Yoruba Presidency, Hausa Presidency, Ijaw Presidency, Tiv Presidency or Fulani Presidency.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo advised Atiku, “to Obidiently listen to Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the Afenifere Leader, who said, “To keep Nigeria one everyone must be Obi-Datti compliant’. As such, he should emulate elder statesmen like President Obasanjo, Pa E. K. Clark, Pa Olu Falae, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Gen. T. Y. Danjuma, Rtd, to ensure that Nigeria does not miss this unique opportunity for restoration through Peter Obi.
“Atiku’s current promise is worth nothing to Ndigbo. In fact, the promise is laughable and diversionary, coming at this time when Nigerians want to interrogate his presidential profile vis-a-vis the 3Cs. Based on weighty allegations leveled against him by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on serially reneging on his promises, how much is his promise worth?
“In 2019, Ndigbo supported him and gave him over 80% of his votes, even when his people rejected him and he could not even win in his State – Adamawa. Yet, he, the Waziri Adamawa carefully dodged signing any written agreement with Ndigbo that he would serve only one tenure.
“Ohanaeze urges all patriotic Nigerians to Obediently keep faith with Peter Obi based on his 3Cs, not based on ethnicity.”
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