By Nwafor Okafor
A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has been described as the only person with the capacity to stop Chief Bola Tinubu from becoming the president of Nigeria in 2023.
A delegation of Atiku Abubakar Campaign Caretaker Committee led by Chief Raymond Dokpesi stated this when it paid a visit to Valentine Ozigbo, the Anambra State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 6 poll at his country home in Amesi, Anambra State.
Dokpesi said the visit was to inform Anambra people that Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President of Nigeria and 2019 PDP Presidential Candidate was once again aspiring to contest for the president in 2023.
He said “the Waziri( Atiku) is the right person that could match Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu” should he eventually emerge as the presidential candidate of APC”.
He said Atiku, if elected, would ensure that “South East’s interest would be highly protected”, as exemplified earlier by Waziri with the choice of His Excellency Peter Obi as his running mate”.
While making a rallying call to Igbo to mobilise massively and join the PDP, to boost the party’s membership ahead of the 2023 elections, Dokpesi said Anambra had been at the forefront of producing leaders of Nigeria and had shown commitment to PDP as a party over the years.
He said,” We have come to seek and solicit your support for the presidential aspiration of Waziri Atiku Abubakar and to assure you that Atiku Abubakar is in the best position to unify Nigeria and protect the interest of his in-laws (Ndigbo),” Chief Dokpesi said.
Dokpesi lamented that Anambra missed out on having “the services of a dogged fighter” by failing to elect Valentine Ozigbo during the 2021 gubernatorial election while declaring that the forces that worked against the PDP candidate “cannot stop his light from shining”.
Dokpesi expressed profound appreciation for the great hospitality extended to them and the reception, which he described as “warm and exceptional”, adding that Anambra was the 30th state visited by the group.
He said the concept of rotational presidency was meant to prevent the emergence of “Super Nigerians” by allowing people from every part of the country to lead. He also added that PDP had technically zoned the presidential ticket to the North by electing Atiku as its flag-bearer in 2019.
The Atiku team also had in the entourage Engr. Olajide Adeniji, who acts as the secretary to the team, Emeka Donald Nwachukwu and Chief Obunike Ohaegbu, Mr Olumide Opeewe, Hajia Hassana Dada Shuaibu, Mr Adai Edwin Adai, Mr Ado Datti, and Amb. Bin Abbas.
Speaking, Valentine Ozigbo thanked the Atiku campaign team for finding him worthy of their visit and expressed admiration for Dr Dokpesi’s commitment, noting that he was encouraged by his consistency for the PDP. Ozigbo also appreciated the media mogul’s support during the last Anambra State governorship election.
While commenting on his perception of Atiku Abubakar, Ozigbo said that he looked out for character and competence in a leader and considers the former vice president as “eminently qualified to vie for the presidency of Nigeria”.
He added that nobody would doubt Atiku’s capacity to lead, “but there is a need to note the sensitivity around the clamour for power shift”.
Touching on the issue of zoning and rotational presidency, Ozigbo described it as “sensitive” and called for “a high level of emotional intelligence” and “balance”.
He said by saying that credible South-East leaders would need to come together and agree on the direction after considering all factors.
Ozigbo was joined at the meeting by some PDP stalwarts, including his running mate in the November 2021 election, Dame Azuka Enemo (Owelle); two state lawmakers, Hon Onyebuchi Offor and Chuka Ezenwune; three former State Chairmen of PDP, Benji Udeozor, Ejike Oguebego and Pandola Okwuosa; former lawmakers at the Federal and State levels, including Hon CY Egwuatu, Hon KG Enemuo, and Hon Tim Egboka; some key stakeholders of the party including Chief Sunday Ezeobiora, Chief Tony Offiah, Chief Chike Ezechukwu, Chief Kenneth Ezeoke, Dr Richard Okechukwu, and several others.
Members of State EXCO of PDP were also present, including Sir Ejike Mgbemena, the Treasurer; Chief Okechukwu Okpala, the Financial Secretary; Mr Ogom Izukanne, the State Youth Leader; and Nze Sunny Umenne, the Chairman of PDP in Aguata LGA. Also, former State Youth Leader of APGA, Comrade Magnus Eziokwu, was present.
Several directors of the PDP Guber Campaign Council for 2021 and men and women Frontliners in the 21 LGAs were also present, including former State Woman Leader, Mrs Love Ebe, Dr Mariam Alike, Izuchukwu Oraelosi, Amaka Ofojebe, Hon Sylva Abasilim, Chinedu Ofomata, and several more.