…as Obi commiserates with Abia people over pipeline explosion
…Atiku donates N10m to victims of Abia pipeline explosion
By Anayo Okoli, Eric Ugbor & Ugochukwu Alaribe
UMUAHIA—Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has denied reports that South East governors and Igbo leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are opposed to the nomination of Mr. Peter Obi as the running mate to the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for the 2019 election.
Ikpeazu who stated this in an interview with newsmen in Aba when Mr. Peter Obi visited the state over the pipeline explosion in Osisioma Ngwa council, described Obi as a worthy son of Igbo land and a gift from Ndigbo to Nigeria whom every Igbo man both at home and in the Diaspora will queue behind considering his pedigree.
He said: “It is a lie that South East governors and Igbo political leaders in PDP are opposed to Peter Obi as vice presidential candidate. Let me use this opportunity to congratulate our brother and a worthy son of Igbo land for his nomination. He’s a gift from Ndigbo to this country. His works and pedigree bears eloquent testimony of the Igbo DNA.
“It will be foolhardy for anybody not to queue behind a man like this to continue to serve this country to the best of his ability. What the South East governors said was that we expect our candidate to come back from his trip and have a tete-a-tete with us and he has said he will come to speak with us.
“If we are banking on the eleven million Igbos in the diaspora to vote, it is only Mr. Peter Obi that can get them to do so.”
Obi’s nomination has lifted our spirits —Abaribe
Speaking at the occasion, South East caucus of the National Assembly, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said that Obi’s nomination has lifted the spirit of every Igbo person and has no opposition from any angle.
“As the chairman of South East Senate caucus of the National Assembly , I can say that the whole National Assembly is behind Peter Obi and at no time was there any problem about his nomination as running mate to our presidential candidate.
“We need people who will not see subsidy and call it under recovery.”
We’re never divided —Obi
Responding Obi said: ”We in the South East have never been divided and we have never acted against each other. We have always acted as a team. I’ve spoken with the three PDP governors. The governors and the leaders are my own leaders. Since this wrong insinuation started, I’ve consulted governors Umahi, Ugwuanyi and of course today, I’m here with my brother, Ikpeazu.
“I’ve spoken to Senator Ike Ekweremmadu, one of our leaders. Of course, Senator Abaribe is here with me. I’ve spoken with all of them including Sam Egwu. For us, we are going to work like a team. For us what is important is to rebuild Nigeria and rebuild the South East.”
Obi commiserates with victims of Abia pipeline explosion
Obi, who was in Abia State to commiserate with the government and people of the state over last weekend’s pipeline explosion which claimed scores of lives and left in its trail, several others with severe burns, visited Ikpeazu at the Government House Umuahia, before proceeding to the scene of the inferno in Osisioma.
He explained that he was directed by the Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to “come to Abia State to commiserate with Abia people on the fire incident in Osisioma.
“He asked me to see you, see the site of the incident and be able to contribute to your effort to ameliorate the suffering of the victims. What happened has happened. That is one of the problems in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is not the only country that produces oil, but here from time to time, we have this type of incidents and we lost lives. I thank Abia people for the efforts to ameliorate the suffering of the victims, your efforts will not be in vain”, Obi told Ikpeazu and his cabinet members.
Ikpeazu sets up c’ttee on pipeline explosion
In his remarks, Ikpeazu said: “We have set a committee to find out what caused the problem. The committee is headed by a retired director of DSS, the committee will locate what was wrong so we can forestall future occurrence.
“We are trying to provide succour to the victims. Government is under pressure to provide accommodation and schools. The burden is now less because we have a sympathetic leader in Atiku. We Abia indigenes say thank you. We are proud that you work with him.”
Atiku donates N10m to victims of Abia pipeline explosion
Also yesterday, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential candidate , Alhaji Atiku Abubakar donated N10 million to the victims of the pipeline fire which killed over 150 persons at Umuaduru and Umuimo communities, Osisioma Ngwa council area, Abia State.
The presidential candidate who was represented by his running mate, Mr. Peter Obi, said he was saddened by the incident and consoled the families who lost their relations.
“Our presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is out of the country. He would have been here by himself; he insisted that we must come to sympathize with our people. We commiserate with the governor, the people of Abia State, Osisioma Ngwa council and the families who lost their loved ones in the incident.
We must join hands to fix our land —Atiku
“When we were riding to the community, the governor said the government should check the quality of pipes being used and how to secure the pipeline to avoid a recurrence. We will join hands to fix our land so that we won’t record such incident.”
While expressing gratitude to Atiku for the donation, Ikpeazu pledged to offset the hospital bills of the victims and urged those who are yet to access medical attention to do so without further delay.
The governor also promised to help rehabilitate those who suffered losses in the incident to enable them restart their businesses and directed the Commissioner for Health to ensure that the victims are taken care of at the hospital.