Saturday, October 20, 2018
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(Peter Obi, A Jackpot for Atiku's Campaign)

Continued from Part 1

One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice-president, and that one word is 'to be prepared (Dan Quayle)

The political spirit is the great force in throwing the love of truth and accurate reasoning into a secondary place (John Viscount Morley)

The choice of Mr. Peter Obi is no doubt fitting and most deserving. I am certain that he will add a lot of value to the ticket (Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha)

pfront, let me make it clear that what matters now to all well-meaning Igbos is not a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction, but the restructuring of Nigeria for the benefit of all - Igbos are more interested in good governance, for the good of all, than in one of their own being the president of a fetid Nigeria. For the Igbos, one of their own ruling Nigeria, any time from now, is no longer a do or die affair. Anybody ruling Nigeria, as it is now, will fail, because of the inherent defects in the system.

Although Igbos have been denied the presidency till now, those tribes which have produced presidents and heads of state of Nigeria are not better off than the Igbos in any way. If being the president of Nigeria is an index of human and infrastructural developments, the north should have been developed by now. The north has been ruling Nigeria all along, but its people are some of the poorest in the country. Pat Utomi also made this point, some time ago, when he said “If the North's problems would have been solved by having a Northerner in power, the North ought to have been a paradise by now. No. The problem of both North and South can ONLY be solved by having the RIGHT people in power not once in a while, but all the time. Vision and discipline and the strength of character to stick to it until the vision materializes are what are needed for Nigeria to develop".

The other zones (of Nigeria) cannot mess Nigeria up, through their people who have ruled the country, at one time or the other, and then expect to hand over a country lying in ruins to an Igbo man as president, without them, first of all, fixing it. Let those who put Nigeria in this bad shape sort it out before thinking of handing it over to one of the vibrant and good Igbo persons, who will then showcase our talent in the management of human and material resources, and from there will catapult Nigeria to enviable heights.

Atiku has promised to restructure Nigeria, and I hope he will not fail, assuming he's elected. In fact, if restructuring is the only thing Atiku's presidency will achieve for Nigeria, that will be good enough, as we will build further from there, and get most of Nigeria's problems solved through that way. If Atiku wins and neglects the restructuring of Nigeria, then his failure, as a president, will be fully programmed from the onset.

To the point: Let's not dwell on the bunkum of a few Igbo political leaders who because of their guile and devious tendencies, have opposed the choice of Peter Obi as Atiku's VP candidate because they were not consulted. This baloney does not deserve our precious time. Atiku owes nobody any consultation before appointing whosoever he wants to work with - it’s his prerogative to choose the person he wants, without getting permission for that from anybody else. In fact, the cacophony of this few putrid Igbos complaining that Atiku Abubakar did not consult them before nominating Peter Obi as the running mate hinges on selfishness, as they're vexed because their godson, or their chum, or any one of them, was not chosen by Atiku to be his running mate. These are the few who want to continue looting our patrimony by proxy, knowing that with Peter Obi, as the VP, they will have no chance again.

What I hate is for anybody to paint all the Igbos with the same brush because of the foolishness of a few. No tribe has the monopoly of common sense or stupidity, as there are good and bad everywhere. The Igbos, as a whole, have moved on, and they've queued behind Peter Obi as Atiku's running mate. Anybody saying or writing that the Igbos are divided on Peter Obi's issue should now get his facts right. Even, Mr. Peter Obi has cleared the air over reports that South East Governors and Party leaders from the zone were not consulted before his nomination was made public. Vanguard wrote that Obi, who was in Aba, the commercial city of Abia State, to see Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and to commiserate with the people of the state because of the oil pipeline explosion at Osisioma, explains that he consulted widely including all the South East Governors and other stakeholders with no one declining his candidature. He 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. 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, all the three PDP governors I’ve spoken with them. I have spoken to Senator Ike Ekweremadu, one of our leaders. Of course, Senator Abaribe is here with me. I’ve spoken with all of them including T. A. Orji and Sam Egwu. For us, we are going to work as a team. For us what is important is to rebuild Nigeria and rebuild the South East. What we need is to create jobs and make Nigeria better. We have always acted as a team. It is an opportunity for us to come out and vote massively for the PDP. We must put all hands on deck to get this mission accomplished.”

His host, Governor Ikpeazu made it clear that the choice of the former Anambra State governor stems from Obi’s leadership qualities and integrity over the years, describing him as the right man for the job. He said: “You were told a lie. Let me use this opportunity to congratulate our brother and a worthy son of Igbo Land for his nomination. He’s a gift from Ndi-Igbo to this country. His works and pedigree bear 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 said he will come to speak with us. There were no time leaders of Ndi-Igbo and South East Governors said we are not happy. His choice was apt and you can see the widespread reception it is getting. 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.”

Also, the chairman of the South East caucus of the National Assembly and the senator representing Abia South Senatorial District in the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who was also considered, by Atiku, for the VP slot, said that Peter Obi’s selection is one that has lifted the spirit of every Igbo person and has no opposition from any angle. In his words: “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 know that ourselves; the governors’ forum; and everybody in the South East is all in support of him. Because, today, Nigeria needs men and women who they're yes is their yes and no is no. We need people who will not see subsidy and call it under recovery. We need people who will not say that they’ve defeated Boko Haram and they turn around and keep executing Red Cross Workers. Today, what we have is somebody we can all queue behind to rescue Nigeria. Let me say it without equivocation that all Igbo leaders are queuing behind Peter Obi.”

Igbos always say that “a good thing (market) sells itself”, and, that “one can easily discern a ripe maize with the eyes”. The naming of Peter obi by Atiku, as his running mate, has electrified the political landscape as such that it seems he, Peter Obi, is the main presidential candidate. Many who have lost hope and faith in Nigerian democracy are now re-awakening because of the selection of Peter Obi as a running mate, and it's not just only the Igbos, but many other Nigerians from all the tribes in the country.

East, west, north and south, no governor, past or present, has performed like Peter Obi, meaning that he remains the best governor ever produced by Nigeria. Forget about Sam Mbakwe, Jakande etc, as they didn’t measure up to Peter Obi.

Atiku made the right choice here, and he was clever. He went for quality and personality. A lot of things were considered, by Atiku, before he settled for Peter Obi. A Proverb in Igbo says that "a person who cuts other people's head will never allow somebody holding a cutlass to pass his back". As a VP, Atiku knew how he "tormented" Obasanjo, his boss; so while looking for a man who can perform, as his own running mate, he was also looking for an uncontroversial figure, and here, Peter Obi fits in well - a round peg in a round hole. Atiku considered Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe but didn't go for him because of his fearlessness and pugnacity, as he knew how Abaribe, as a deputy governor of Abia State, fought his then boss, Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, to a standstill. Atiku considered Senator Ike Ekweremadu, but the latter is not "clean", as he has a case, with the EFCC, because of the properties he bought at home and abroad. Atiku knew that choosing Ekweremadu would have been like handing Buhari and the APC ammunition to shoot his campaign down.

Atiku has made his wealth. How he made it will be a point for another day. But, a good point for today is that he is investing his wealth in Nigeria, creating jobs for millions. In fact, he's the highest private employer in Nigeria. Atiku said “I make bold to say I am too rich to be corrupt, Nigeria is so full of opportunities that I don't need to be your president to make money. This is not about me, it's about you. Young Nigerians let's do this together". Although we may never know, I think Atiku wants to make a name and to leave legacies as a president and not for the money, as he has it already. Peter Obi stands out, from the crowd, as the best Nigeria has in terms of management, frugality, and uprightness. Those opposing his nomination are just opposite of Peter Obi, and Atiku does not want any of such characters as his running mate.

Atiku is not budging as he has made it very clear that changing Peter Obi is not an option, and he said "Sink or Swim, I will not change my choice of Peter Obi as my Vice President. This man stood by me all these months before any of you raising objections even came on board. I don't play with loyalty and honesty. Not only for his loyalty, but he also has the perfect qualities needed to run my government as my second-in-command. And he is popular; the masses love him. He's an acceptable choice across ethnic groups in the country. I have made my choice and we should work towards the victory of our ticket and our party".

Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, OFR, wrote: “Truly the South East has great men and women who could pair with Atiku but to be true, none beats Peter Obi. Peter is a tested hand who gave a sterling account of himself as the governor of Anambra State. His landmark achievements in Anambra remain visible and audible. He was an effective governor. He was prudent and remained ‘human’ in and outside the office. Peter belongs to that rare class of state governors who governed well, brought development, security, and peace to their states exhibiting the highest levels of prudence and efficient resource management. Today, Peter is very well respected and regarded not only in the South East but in most regions of Nigeria as a politician with integrity. Yes, his opposition to the second term of the incumbent governor of Anambra may have rubbed off some of his cult following in Anambra State, yet he remains perhaps the most popular and well respected past governor in the South East. Therefore, the choice of Obi has been acclaimed all over the nation and there is a consensus that given his private sector background in banking, business, and investment he will prove a very capable Vice President and will ably help the president manage the economy if they win the election".

On his own part, Goddy Uwazurike wrote:"I have read with disgust the vituperations of the enemies of this country on the choice of Peter Obi as the running mate of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. The complaints range from non-consultation to why the choice should be from the South East to the ridiculous protest of non-PDP members. For the avoidance of doubt, very few people parade the intimidating credentials of Peter Obi. Again, very few people parade the integrity of Peter Obi. Furthermore, very few people parade the common sense economics of Peter Obi. Finally, very few people parade the ability of Peter Obi to overlook personal aggrandizement in public and private life. For those who wish this country well, Peter Obi will bring a lot of good to the economic revival of this country. One of the prayers of an ordinary man like me is that we allow our first eleven to come to power. The names brandished as possible nominees are first class. Now, only one can be chosen and he has been chosen. Our job is to ensure that Peter Obi who performed excellently well in Anambra will repeat the feat at the center. For those who are angry that they were not consulted, Atiku owes that duty to his party. So no need for complaint. The last group will be those who see Peter Obi as not likely to play ball, I say good for you. He is not the run of the mill politician. Let's keep Peter Obi the way he is."

This conversation will be continued!






Continued from Part 1