By Tony Edike
THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and opposition Congress for Progressive Change, CPC in the South East geo-political zone, yesterday, traded words over the presidential candidate to be supported by Ndigbo in tomorrow’s presidential election.
While the PDP urged the people of the zone to formally endorse the position of Ohaneze Ndigbo and five governors of the zone as well as political leaders by voting for the president, the CPC, on its part, said the ruling party was yet to appreciate the support it got from the zone in the past 12 years and asked Ndigbo to throw their support behind it’s presidential candidate, Gen. Muhamadu Buhari.
Addressing a news conference in Enugu, National Publicity Secretary of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, and CPC gubernatorial candidate in the state, Osita Okechukwu, urged Ndigbo to take their destiny in their hands by rejecting the PDP in the remaining elections.
He said if the zone was to move forward in terms of infrastructural development, Igbo would need to reconsider its support for the PDP in this week’s presidential election.
According to him, PDP’s failed promises to the people of the South-East, including the second Niger Bridge project, petroleum refinery, federal roads and other infrastructure in the region “were uncountable failed promises.’
“These failed promises have led to the exodus of youths, high unemployment and total dislocation, to the extent that while Ndigbo invest in other regions of the country, no similar investment comes to the South-East.
The CPC stalwart said that Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the South-East governors did not consult widely before endorsing Jonathan for the 2011 election.
He said to avoid the blame-game of marginalisation of Igbo, “next weekend’s presidential election provides a golden opportunity for amends to be made in the interest of our children.”
He said among the candidates, Gen Muhamadu Buhari comes out as the best bet, being a man of uncommon integrity, uncommon transparency and uncommon humility who approximates more than any other candidate, whom Ndigbo and indeed the progressive bloc, should conveniently align with.
On his part, the National Vice Chairman of the PDP in the south east, Chief Olisa Metuh said a victory for President Jonathan was fundamental to the progress of the Igbos as well as the stability of the country, noting that any attempt to drag the people of the zone out of the mainstream of nation’s politics would adversely affect the people in the long run.
“As you know, President Jonathan is the best candidate for the presidency of our dear country at this point in time. We therefore urge Ndigbo across the country to come out massively and join other Nigerians to vote for this man of destiny to continue the good work,” he stated.
“Citizens of South East extraction residing all across Nigeria are hereby urged to come out and vote for President Goodluck Jonathan. A victory for President Jonathan will ensure progress for the South East and stability in Nigeria,” Metuh further said.