Despite Ohaneze Support, Atiku’s 2019 Presidential Bid May Be Over, Here’s Why…

Despite the support of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo of the Atiku Abubakar/Peter Obi presidential ticket under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the South East governors of the PDP and other candidates of the party in the forthcoming elections have reportedly disowned the partnership.
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The PDP leaders from the zone, who had a meeting yesterday in Enugu, said they disowned the union because they were not aware of the choice of the former governor of Anambra State, Mr Obi as the running mate to their presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar.
They argued that though Mr Obi is a son of the Igbo soil, Atiku could not have picked him without the knowledge of the leaders of the zone whom he had bargained with for the vice president slot, describing his unilateral action as an insult to all Igbo leaders home and away.
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Briefing newsmen shortly after the meeting that lasted for about two hours at the residence of the Deputy President of Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, the Zonal Vice Chairman of the PDP, Mr Austin Umahi, said that the party in the zone still believes that the announcement of Obi was social media brouhaha as Atiku is yet to discuss with the leaders of the zone on his choice of vice from the region. The meeting was attended by Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Chief David Umahi (Ebonyi); former governors of Ebonyi Senator, Dr Sam Egwu and Abia, Senator Theodore Orji; Imo PDP governorship candidate and former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, former Anambra State PDP governorship candidate, Chief Obazie Oseloka, and Ekweremadu.
Members of the PDP in the House of Representatives who were elected in the just concluded primaries and other candidates of the party across the Southeast states were also in attendance.
However, Chief Oseloka Obaze, who came for the meeting but could not enter into the venue queried the decision of the leaders and the governors of the Southeast, asking “is Peter Obi not one of us? When did zonal consultation on the vice presidential ticket start or is this meant to be the first?”
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He said that in the Igbo Language, “even a mad man has relatives,” whom you may only identify when the madman is being beaten in the public and they will come to his defense.
He pointed out that in 1979, Shehu Shagari did not consult the Southeast NPN before choosing Alex Ekwueme as his running mate.
“Indeed, Ekwueme who was then resident in London had been introduced to Shehu Shagari by the late Sir Joe Nwankwu. In 1999, Olusegun Obasanjo did not consult the Northeast PDP leaders before he selected Atiku Abubakar. Indeed, Atiku having won the gubernatorial election in his state was driving to Adamawa on the fateful day when he got a call to return to Abuja to meet Obasanjo to become his running mate. In 2007, Umaru Yar’Adua did not consult the South-South PDP leadership before picking Goodluck Jonathan. Rather, after Peter Odili was blocked as presidential candidate, it was James Ibori that Yar’Adua wanted as his running mate. It was the trio of Ahmadu Ali, Olusegun Obasanjo and Tony Anenih who decided, without any consultations with the region on Jonathan in order to block some PDP governors who were scheming to nominate another person after the rejection of Peter Odili as presidential candidate,” Obaze said.
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President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the apex Igbo body, Chief Nnia Nwodo, in a telephone interview declared his support for the ticket.
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He said, “As the National President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, I am a father to all the political parties. My appeal is that Igbo leaders in the PDP should let bygone be bygone and accept whoever has been nominated.
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We should not upset the applecart. We should accept Peter Obi so that we can move ahead, politically. This is both my prayer and appeal,” Nwodo said.