From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
A chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Hilliard Eta, has warned his party that the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has become an emerging paradigm that must be dealt with in next year’s poll.
He equally described Obi as the hero among the Nigerian youths.
Answering questions from newsmen, yesterday, at the APC national secretariat, the former APC national chairman also warned that Nigerian youths are angry and rightly so, hence the ruling party must find ways to address the concerns of the youths ahead of 2023.
He said since Nigeria is a youthful country, it makes it imperative for APC to consider the disenchantment of the youths in governance.
“Obi is a paradigm that APC needs to deal with. But, I will tell you this. The APC is very happy to have Obi around because he is eating up the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) votes in the South East and the South South. He is just leaving the APC and the Labour Party to contest the votes in the South East and South South.
“Obi is also very popular in the metropolitan Abuja and Lagos. But besides that, in the rural areas of Nigeria, nobody knows him. You go to Zanguru or Zangon Kattaf, and ask who Obi is, and probably most people in those localities mistake him for a trader somewhere. But, he is a phenomenon in the South South and South East, metropolitan Abuja and Lagos, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
“The youths are angry, and they have every right to be angry, but unfortunately for the youths, they have been looking for a hero, and they have found in Obi, a hero, but it is sad because Obi is the antithesis of everything the youths should be looking for, but they have found in him and that is why I said APC should be looking at a new paradigm.
“The party needs to look at the concerns of the youths. It is very important because Nigeria is a very youthful country. We need to create jobs for those who are going to school. We need to give those who are going to school quality education, we need to advance the course of health in such a way that people that are born tomorrow will not suffer the indignity of lack of health facilities that those who are born today are suffering,” he said.
Dismissing the possibilities of the PDP posing any threat to APC ahead of the 2023 general election, Eta said: “Atiku Abubakar is an old customer, we have dealt with the issue of Atiku for a long time and we are going to deal with his issue once again. He comes with no new tricks, we know his tricks and we are going to deal with that politically.”