From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege has a taken a swipe at the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State for not adhering to power rotation in the country.
Omo-Agege who is the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Delta State, said both Atiku and Okowa have broken the trust of Nigerians, and urged them to step down as candidate and running mate.
He also faulted the PDP for jettisoning zoning, noting that that the campaign messages of the “party should be taken with a pinch of salt.
“‘Trust,’ they say, ‘is like an antique, once it’s broken, it can never be replaced’. The PDP presidential candidate and his running mate have broken the trust of Nigerians. The honourable thing to do is for the duo to honourably resign and right the wrong.”
Omo-Agege position was contained in a statement by the Director of Communications and Media Strategy,
Delta APC Gubernatorial Campaign Council, Mr. Ima Niboro.
He said Atiku has shown that he lacked the locus to preach equity, fairness, justice and integrity by contesting the election when President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, would be leaving the stage after eight years.
Omo-Agege who is also the Delta State Coordinator, Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, also argued that Governor Okowa has by his action of becoming a vice presidential candidate of PDP, betrayed the trust reposed on him by his colleagues and the entire South.
“During the week, at the second reading and debate on general principles on a bill seeking to legalise power rotation across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria, I had urged my colleagues in PDP to persuade their presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to step down and rotate the presidential ticket to the South.
“The domino effect of that would also be the resignation of Atiku’s running mate and Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and ceding the vice presidential ticket to the North.
“Like I pointed out on the floor of the Senate during my contribution, if PDP senators were serious, they would have first pleaded with their presidential candidate to step down from the race for power to return to Southern Nigeria. By May next year, the North would have ruled for eight years of two terms and it is only fair that power comes back to the South,” he said.
The Delta central lawmaker noted that notable bodies like the Southern Governors Forum, their northern counterparts, social cultural organisations such as Afenifere; Middle Belt Forum, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and Ohaneze Ndigbo have all harped on the need for Southern presidency.
He recalled his meeting with elder statesman and former Federal Commissioner for Information, Edwin Clark in July this year, when the Niger Delta leader faulted the PDP for not zoning its presidential ticket to the South.
“Irrespective of political differences, 17 governors in the South met in Asaba, the capital of Delta State on May 11, 2021, and took far-reaching decisions, including that, based on the principles of fairness, equity and justice, the presidency should rotate to the South, at the end of the statutory eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.
“Governor Okowa was the host of that historic meeting. The Southern Governors later met in Lagos, on July 5, where they reaffirmed their decision, and again in Enugu, on September 16, to restate the call that the Presidency should rotate to the South in 2023.
“What Nigerians can deduce from PDP jettisoning zoning and giving its ticket to Atiku is that the campaign messages of the party should be taken with a pinch of salt. ‘Trust,’ they say, ‘is like an antique, once it’s broken, it can never be replaced’. The PDP Presidential candidate and his running mate have broken the trust of Nigerians. The honourable thing to do is for the duo to honourably resign and right the wrong.
“It, therefore, didn’t come to us as a surprise that five PDP governors boycotted the inauguration of PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Abuja to register their grievances over the injustice meted to the Southern States of Nigeria,” Omo-Agege stated.