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- A southeast group has raised alarm over the possibility of ethnic crisis rising from the emergence of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi in PDP ahead of 2019
- The president of the group, Chief Guy Ikokwu, warned Nigerians that if care is not taken, the Atiku -Obi ticket can fuel tribal unrest among ethnic groups
- Ikokwu said this can distract Nigerians from the real issue which is the conduct and results of the 2019 general polls
The president of the Pan-Ndigbo Nigerian Forum (PNF), Chief Guy Ikokwu has faulted the controversies emerging from the nomination of Peter Obi as the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Ikokwu, who is also a chieftain of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, warned against turning Alhaji Atiku Abubakar's choice of Obi as his running mate into a Yoruba- Igbo or north-south crisis, Vanguard reports.
He said: "As an Igbo think tank organization may we appeal to our various social media contributors to refrain from turning the current event into a Yoruba – Igbo or North – South diatribe which would distract millions of our well meaning readers from focusing on the tremendous challenges in the next six months.
"Only the clueless protagonists can indulge in such whimsical idiocies while our nation is burning. "We have followed the development of the last few days with particular reference to the Atiku – Peter Obi PDP ticket for the Presidential election and find it difficult to understand the necessity for the hue and cry.
"We understand as a matter of fact that the last PDP Ahmed Makarfi exco had endorsed a committee report which zoned certain offices including the Vice Presidency to the South-East.
"The leadership of the South East PDP which includes the Governors should have quietly brainstormed for multiple eligible candidates which they should have forwarded to the Presidential aspirant, who emerged at the Rivers State primaries.
"Such a list is merely suggestive as it is the prerogative of the Presidential candidate to choose a running mate who is compatible with his manifesto and election strategy in the coming election. Indeed after the emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the Presidential Candidate of the PDP, several personalities male and female were even awash in the social media.
"Knowing the antecedents of some of the personalities that manifested since the Port-Harcourt primaries, some of us in the mainstream of Igbo political terrain can testify that only three candidates known to us and Atiku met the strategic requirements for the Vice President's choice.
"It is therefore for the PDP Presidential candidate to decide on the compatibility of any of the male and female candidates including Peter Obi. "There are many other positions which Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his campaign associates in the PDP can choose and appoint to specific positions in order to have an effective emergency governance considering the Constitutional, Economic, Security and prevailing Educational and Social situations in the Nation today.
"The task is to lift Nigeria up from a recessionary banana republic situation which we are regrettably nose-diving cluelessly into.
"Ohanaeze Ndigbo World Wide and Governor Umahi as Chairman of South East Governors Forum have just put matters to rest that they support the adoption of Ex Gov. Peter Obi, the former chairman of South East Governors Forum as a suitable candidate as Atiku's running mate. This should put matters to a rest.
"The Atiku-Obi ticket would go round the zones urgently to ensure PDP and its partners deliver adequately in each of the zones."