Abakalikl – Mr Peter Obi, running mate of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 presidential election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has blamed the social media for the misgivings generated over his nomination.
Obi made this known in Abakaliki on Monday during a courtesy call on Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi.
According to him, leaders of the South East Zone were never against my nomination but with the process through which I was nominated.
“They have the right to disagree with such process and this made them humbly request for a meeting with the party’s presidential candidate.
“Unfortunately, we leave in an era where the social media controls every part of news as I declare especially to the press that Umahi remains the zone’s leader and the best in the country.
Obi disclosed that Umahi made his nomination possible through his efforts as the secretary of the PDP national convention committee which produced the best presidential primaries in the country.
“Such efforts by PDP leaders especially Umahi ensured that that the party’s presidential candidate thought of choosing his running-mate from the south east zone.
“That is why I came home to tell south east people that the nomination is not for me alone but for them as its success rests on the efforts of Umahi, its leaders and the entire people,” he said.
He noted that he never thought of getting nominated, never discussed such with anybody with the way it happened, only explained by God.
“PDP governors in the zone have performed tremendously and Umahi in particular, has done enough for Ebonyi and the zone,” he said.
“It would, therefore, be unfair and uncharitable for any of us to allow his person or leadership, be put into disrepute as this journey would not be successful without his leadership.
“We will work together to succeed as the PDP is desirous of returning to power not just to return but to correct the anomalies presently witnessed in the country,” he said.
Obi said that he had a lasting relationship with Ebonyi which dated back to his business dealings in the state as a student of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) among his family’s business interests in the state.
Umahi, in his response, thanked Obi for the honour of the visit, pledging that the people of the state and the zone would support him to actualize his ambition.
“When you sought to visit me in Abuja, I chose to visit you instead because you were a governor, chairman of the zone’s governor’s forum all before me and presently, the vice presidential candidate of our party.
“In your humility however, you decided to visit me and we both spoke to the press to correct certain impressions,” he said.
He remarked that he bore no grouse over Obi because even if nominated for the position, he would decline because he still had four years to lead as Ebonyi governor.
“We have supported each other in the past, you supported me during my campaign to be governor even donating vehicles and this is the time to show that one good turn deserves another.
“We have never had differences in any matter in the past but have been badly misrepresented in this present matter.
“I want to officially congratulate you on your nomination because nobody can impose a deputy on another but I maintain that the process was not satisfactory to us,” he said.
The governor noted that the process was faulted because five names were submitted for the position and six people from other geo political zones were selected to review the list.
“We, therefore, faulted the non-selection of an Igbo leader in the review of the list and the non-selection of indigenes of Ebonyi and Imo in the list.
“I am particular about Ebonyi because we have been the whipping child of the south east zone as I have fought and will continue fighting to correct this anomaly,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that there were misgivings in the zone over Obi’s nomination with Umahi and other leaders faulting the process which produced Obi as Atiku’s running-mate.
The situation generated mixed reactions by citizens across the globe with accusations and counter accusations in conventional and social media. (NAN)