A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uloka Chukwubuikem, on Wednesday acknowledged that it was right for the Ndigbos to demand an Igbo presidency in 2023.
The politician, however, said that it is more important that the leaders in the South East and Ndi-Igbo place much priority on having the region reconnected to the national grid, having genuine reconciliation, and forging strategic alliances with other regions of the country.
HausaToday understands that Chukwubuikem is the Deputy Director, Media and Publicity, and Liaison Officer of the PDP Presidential Campaign Management Committee in Anambra State.
The PDP chieftain while attending to journalists in Akwa today, asserted that the shortest route for the Igbo presidency is supporting Atiku Abubakar and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s presidential ticket in the forthcoming election.
Chukwubuikem said the decision to align with Atiku is not for selfish gain but for the collective interest of the South East and Ndi-Igbo after the elections.
According to him, any region that wants to be president in Nigeria must belong to the two dominant parties in the country, which he said are the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC), stressing that they both have strong alliances with other regions in the country.
He said, “With Atiku Abubakar and Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s joint ticket looking probable and their victory mostly inevitable in 2023, we will be vindicated and our people will see reasons to appreciate our stand and commitment with the PDP when the gains and rewards for our today’s decision begin to manifest.
“In Anambra State, we have consistently professed optimism about Atiku and the PDP being the shortest feasible route for an Igbo presidency in view of the present realities on the ground.
“This may be difficult to accept for certain people in the South East for the time being, but it remains the only logical path for an Igbo political renaissance in Nigeria and easy election to the presidency in the next four to eight years.”
It Will Be Dangerous To Abandon The South-East
While urging the region to support the Atiku/Okowa’s ticket, Chukwubuikem said it will be dangerous for the South-East to be isolated and abandoned in the opposition for another eight years.
He insists that the region must hence give its collective support and votes to Atiku if it must enjoy the support of the North to produce the president when power reverts to the South after the term of Atiku who currently enjoys the support of the entire North.
According to him, among the benefits of the Atiku-Okowa-joint ticket is the assurance that Nigeria will be restructured and the party will ensure true federalism to replicate the development associated with Ndi-Igbo in the Third Republic.
“For us Ndi-Igbo, what is important to us is the development of our region and the reconnection back to power and the national grid. With the outright rejection of APC by Nigerians over their failure in the last seven years and other political parties not having the human and material resources to challenge for power, the option before the majority of Nigerians remains the PDP and Atiku-Okowa joint ticket.
“It’s quite instructive for the South East and Ndi-Igbo to be rational and strategic with their votes and support to help other parts of the country unseat the APC and reinstate the PDP while we will have to enjoy more stake to produce the President post-2023.
“In order to achieve greater success, we must make sacrifices that will strengthen our region as a whole and reawaken the Republican and tenacious spirit in our people. We must make sacrifices that will build on the successes that the South East and North have already achieved through strategic alliances in the past,” the party chieftain added.
He added: “Today, it might seem illogical that we are supporting a Northerner to take over power from another Northerner, but it’s not so. We are instead making the sacrifice and forming the strategic alliance that will cede power and the presidency to the South East in the shortest possible time.
“We urge Ndi-Igbo, the intellectual, leaders of thoughts of the South East, to put their faith in our choice to support Atiku Abubakar and the PDP in the 2023 election. We are confident that it will serve the interests of our people and region and that our efforts will be recognized and appreciated after 2023.”