18th October, 2018
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia said on Wednesday that South-East PDP governors never opposed former Gov. Peter Obi’s emergence as running mate of the party’s presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Ikpeazu stated this in Aba after accompanying Obi to the site of last Friday’s pipeline fire that killed scores of residents of Umuimo and Umuadoro communities in Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Council.
He said that reports indicating that the governors or Igbo leaders opposed Obi’s emergence were lies.
“How could that be? But be that as it may, I want to cease this opportunity to officially and publicly congratulate our leader and our brother, Mr Peter Obi.
“He is a worthy son of Igboland and a worthy Nigerian; one of the best in this clime, for the opportunity to serve Nigeria.
“Mr Peter Obi is a gift from Ndi-Igbo to this country and his work and pedigree bears eloquent testimony of the Igbo DNA.
“It will be fool-hardy for anybody not to queue and support and make sure that he continues to serve this country to the best of his ability.
He explained that what the South-East governors said was that they had expected Obi to return from his trip and hold a meeting with them as promised.
“He (Obi) had promised that he was returning and coming to speak with us and we said yes, we were willing to speak with him.
“At no time did the governors or the leadership of Ndi-Igbo at any level say that we are not happy.
“If anything, we think that his choice was apt and you can see the widespread reception across Nigeria and if we are banking on the 11 million Igbos in Diaspora to vote, it is only Mr Peter Obi that can get there,” he said.
Earlier, Obi said that the South-East governors and leaders in the PDP had never acted against the interest of one another but had always acted as a team.
He said he had spoken to leaders in the Senate including Ike Ekweremmadu, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Theodore Orji, Sam Egwu and others.
“For us, what is important is to rebuild the South-East, to rebuild Nigeria. What we need is to talk about how to create jobs, how to make Nigeria better for the citizens.
“Let me thank Gov. Ikpeazu for what he is doing. Governance is about the people feeling you. It is about moving around, seeing it for yourself.
“When we came this morning, he could have said “well, listen I am busy” and stayed back in his office but he came around with us. He has been to those places.
“He has listened to the people and I assure you that whatever he said today he will do will be practicalised. It is not a question of wishing. So we are all working as a team.
“You know in politics, we need to ask for more. That consultation will be asking for more”, he said.
Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, in his remarks, said that the South-East caucus in the National Assembly had always been in support of Peter Obi’s emergence as the PDP vice-presidential candidate.
He said that the nation at this time needed men and women whose words could be their bond and who would understand the challenges of the country.
“Today, what we have is a man who we can queue behind, a man who can make sure that Nigerians are rescued from where they are today, in despondency”, he said.
He noted that this was the reason he could say that all the leaders of Igboland were in support of Obi’s candidature.