The Chairman, Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions in the Federal House of Representative, Mr. Linus Okorie, has warned Igbo leaders to desist from kicking against the nomination of Peter Obi as running mate to the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Okorie, who is representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Federal Constituency, made this known in a statement issued in Abakaliki on Saturday, stressed that Ndigbo must not Play into the hands of enemies ahead of the forthcoming 2019 general election.
The statement reads in part: “Ndigbo must create a balance between control and the more devastating perception of disunity. The impression already being created is that Ndigbo are unable to manage political successes and may not provide the pivotal bloc needed to drive the Atiku challenge for Presidency. While this may not be correct, it behooves on the leaders of Ndigbo to avoid sending out wrong signals at a time unity and brotherhood would be their greatest strength.
“As they gather in Enugu today, therefore, Igbo leaders are expected to handle their housekeeping matters with maturity, lay blames if they must, without doing anything to challenge or upset the nomination of Peter Obi, which is already in the public domain and receiving wide acclaim. They must come out of that conclave with a stamp of approval and encouragement to other political parties, including the APC, that may need Igbo votes to act similarly by choosing their Vice Presidential candidates from amongst Igbo sons and daughters.
“They should indeed congratulate both their son who has been so honoured, the PDP and its Presidential Candidate, Alahaji Atiku Abubakar, for the recognition and act of solidarity. Beyond that, they can then pursue a program of strategic engagement to address any lacuna in the nomination process to further cement the confidence between and amongst all parties involved.
“To do otherwise would be class suicide and Ndigbo must not play into the hands of enemies at this critical time. Already, the Yorubas have indicated interest in the Atiku V.P slot if Ndigbo are unable to manage that political windfall.
“Let me conclude by appealing to the governors of the Southeast, Ohaneze leadership and indeed other elites to eschew divisive tendencies and rally round Peter Obi; projecting him properly as a worthy Igbo son who has the support and solidarity of his people;
while inviting the APC and other political parties to pick their Vice Presidential Candidates from the Southeast; as an assurance of their commitment to support the emergence of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023.
“Ndigbo professionals, youths and women must rise up to ensure that their political leaders do not send them back into; political oblivion now that the light seems to be streaming through from the end of tunnel,” the lawmaker stated.