Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
A coalition of 20 human rights, public governance accountability and pro-democracy advocacy groups, based in South East of the country, on Monday, indentified
Politics of dichotomy, pecuniary and selfish interests as the real reasons behind the rejection of Mr. Peter Obi as Atiku’s running mate by some South East Governors and political leaders.
The group which included the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), among others in a joint statement released yesterday in Onitsha, Anambra State described the actions of the naysayers as not only despicable and condemnable.
The group said those kicking against the choice of Obi has taken a very unpopular stance which has attracted widest bashing and condemnation from concerned Igbo citizens far and near and thousands of miles away noting that the threat to “openly endorse Buhari for reported second term” unless Mr. Atiku Abubakar reverses himself and dumps Mr. Peter Obi as his running mate has become the height of political suicide mission reportedly embarked already by the leader of the Southeast PDP governors.
The South East Rights Coalition said, “Politics of dichotomy as reason number one in the instant case is a monster that has reared its ugly head again in the Region after its devastating role in the politics of ‘old Eastern Nigeria’; politics of ‘Wawa’ and ‘Agbaenu’ people of old Anambra State and that between ‘Wawa’ and ‘Nsukka’ People in the present Enugu State, to mention but few.
“Politics of pecuniary interest as reason number two notoriously indicates that politics in the Southeast Region or Igbo heartland is roundly monetized or utterly transactional, to the extent that stark illiterate moneybags and questionable billionaires are now in charge.
“Politics of selfish interest as reason number three clearly indicates that every PDP “political leader” in the Southeast Region wants to be chosen as “Atiku Abubakar or PDP’s Vice Presidential Candidate” or be allowed to nominate a puppet for same, not minding whether he or she has what it takes to run the economy of the country which is the main job of the Nigeria’s Vice President.
To such selfish political actors, “what matters is how much stolen or controversially accumulated wealth or cash in his or her possession or amount of cash to be pocketed directly or by proxy as Nigeria’s Vice President” if nominated and elected.”
The coalition appealed to Atiku Abubakar to ignore any call for the reversal of his choice of Obi as his running mate and also called on the South East PDP leaders and the South East Governors to sheathe their swords, jettison selfish interests and join hands with Obi to work for the overall interests of Nigeria in general and Southeast in particular, if elected in the February 2019 presidential poll.
“We not only congratulate Mr. Peter Obi for his popularly acceptable emergence as Atiku Abubakar’s Vice Presidential Candidate, but also commend Mr. Atiku Abubakar and his PDP for making a wise and popular choice by considering the Southeast Region in his political equation. Mr. Peter Obi’s profile, integrity and achievements in life especially as Anambra State governor are unrivalled and too numerous to be mentioned. They are conceptually chronicled or better understood in the context of Obinomics.
“ Mr. Atiku Abubakar and his PDP are also respectfully urged to adopt “Igbo Presidency for 2023” as one of their new blueprints and ensure its actualisation so as to restore the sense of belongingness to the Igbo People in the Nigerian Project.
“This is not in any way prejudice to popular demand across the country for Nigeria to be restructured from the foundation or constituent and constitutional levels in line with the rights of all ethnic nationalities in the country to self determination; on how best to live together or apart using non-violence.
“The said Southeast PDP leaders including the three PDP Governors must be made to sheath their “swords of dichotomy, pecuniary and selfish politics or interests” and join him with Mr. Peter Obi to work for the overall interests of Nigeria in general and Southeast or Igbo heartland in particular, if elected in the February 2019 presidential poll.
“It is our firm appeal to Mr. Atiku Abubakar to ignore any call for reversal of his choice of Southeast Region and nomination of Mr. Peter Obi, whether such unpopular call is coming from within the Southeast Region or outside the Region including the Southwest Region and have same trashed into the dustbin of irretrievability,” the coalition stated.