By Chioma Gabriel, Clifford Ndujihe, Jane Dania & Chinonso Alozie
THE National President of the Association of South East Town Unions, ASETU, Emeka Diwe, yesterday said the association was in support of the nomination of the former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, as running mate to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential standard-bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Speaking to Vanguard in Owerri, yesterday, Diwe said Obi’s nomination had ushered in progress.
He said: “Obi represents what Nigeria needs in this time of economic crisis given his sterling and inimitable performance as governor of Anambra State.
“We are not also in doubt and so, we make bold to say that in choosing Peter Obi, a new dawn of national reconciliation has commenced and we will lend our support to it.
“Peter Obi brings something refreshingly different to bear in governance. He is of the stock of uncompromisingly credible Nigerians, dedicated to refined values.
“His understanding of and commitment to the economic development of Nigeria will greatly usher in a prosperous Nigeria.”
Why we support Atiku/Obi Ticket—Lecturers, students
In a similar vein, lecturers from universities in Nigeria, particularly South-East and South-South, have agreed to work for the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, former Governor Peter Obi in the 2019 presidential election.
The lecturers under the aegis of Academic Democrats took the decision yesterday after an extensive meeting in Awka where they examined the manifestoes of the major candidates. They said the contents of Atiku and Obi joint ticket showed that there was hope for Nigeria, if they were elected.
Speakers, including the Academic Democrats convener, Dr Chinedu Onyeizugbe, Prof Chinyere Stella Okunna, Prof Uche Nwogwugwu, Prof Emenike Obi and Prof Frank-Collins Okafor, among others, who buttressed the need for academicians to support the aspiration of Atiku and Obi in 2019, agreed to embark on advocacy for the candidature of Atiku and Obi in order to ensure Nigeria is restructured to give room for democratic legacies currently lacking in the state.
Similarly, students in the South-East under the aegis of Student Community Voters, SCV, South-East yesterday endorsed the nomination of former Governor Peter Obi as the running mate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Their endorsement was contained in a statement signed by Ezeukwu Formula, chairman, Students Community Voters, SCV and Speaker, Students Representative Council, SRC, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State and Comrade Chimezie Izuchukwu, Secretary SCV and President Students Union Government University of Nigeria, Nsukka , Enugu State.
They described the choice of Obi by Atiku as demonstration of “political sagacity.”
Their words: “In the same vein, we laud the exercise, the leadership and members for their political sagacity on the choice of Peter Obi, a resourceful personality.
“Chief Peter Obi’s leadership qualities have endeared him to many particularly, the voting youth population, students inclusive across Nigeria. Obi’s managerial skill is not in doubt as he is an expert in fund and human management.”
Dissenting Igboleaders lack Igbomandate —Igbo Kwenu
Also yesterday, an emerging coalition of Igbo groups in Lagos, the Igbo Kwenu Association, urged Igbo leaders opposed to the emergence of former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, to have a rethink so as not to be judged harshly by history.
Noting that ‘’for the Igbo nation, Peter Obi’s nomination represents putting our best foot forward and history shall not be kind to anyone who may wish our dear country anything less,’’ the group at a press conference in Lagos yesterday, said the dissenters did not have the mandate of the Igbo people.
“Having consulted our Ndigbo brothers and sisters and having witnessed first-hand, the jubilation across political party lines, tribal lines and religious lines that greeted the choice of Peter Obi, we are strongly convinced that no political office holder from Igboland would have uttered the suggested statements in good faith or for the Igbo nation,” the group noted.
CKC Onitsha alumni backs Obi
In a related development, an alumni of Christ the King College, CKC, Onitsha, Chief E.C. Udedike said the choice of Mr. Peter Obi as the vice-presidential candidate of the PDP has also gladdened the heart of Nigerians across the six geo-political zones. According to him, “party leaders who say they were not consulted should shield their swords and support the ticket.”
This was contained in a press statement in Lagos, by the alumni who said it was the prerogative of Atiku to choose a running-mate as had been the case since Nigeria’s democratic dispensation.
Udedike said: “I strongly appeal to our distinguished and honourable brothers and sisters who felt otherwise to soft pedal. We have to bear in mind that other zones are watching the South-East to make a mistake. And we shall not continue to make mistakes unless it is a curse.”
, he said, recalling how the attitude created an unprecedented South-East production of five Senate Presidents between 1999 and 2005.
He argued that the South-East had been angling to produce a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, and wondered how this could be achieved without unanimity of purpose, when every Igbo would consider himself worthy of the position. “While I acknowledge that there are many eminently qualified men and women in the South-East zone who can be Vice President, the fact remains that there will only be one Vice President at a time.
“Obi is eminently qualified with intimidating credentials. A product of CKC Onitsha and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. For post-graduate studies, Obi attended Lagos Business School, Cambridge University, Oxford University and Harvard University, respectively, and had showed exemplary leadership of men and management of resources as governor of Anambra State for eight years, a feat that has been unprecedented in the annals of state governorship in the country”, he stressed.