OHANEZE Youth Council (OYC) has asked former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to drop his presidential ambition and support an Igbo candidate if he is really interested in keeping Nigeria as a united country.
Alhaji Abubakar is expected to declare his intention to stand in next year’s presidential elections later this week. In 2019, Alhaji Abubakar was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), losing to President Muhammadu Buhari at the polls and he is expected to seek the ticket again this time around.
Although not constitutional, Nigeria’s component parts have a gentleman’s agreement that the presidency will rotate between the north and the south of the country. President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure will end in 2023 and being a Fulani northern Muslim, it is expected that the next president will come from southern Nigeria.
Since the return to democracy in 1999, the southwest has produced President Olusegun Obasanjo and the south-south President Goodluck Jonathan, so come 2023, the presidency should automatically go to the southeast geo-political zone. Atiku’s candidacy threatens to disrupt this delicate arrangement and the OYC has warned that if the PDP hands him its 2023 presidential ticket, it would cause the total disintegration of Nigeria.
Comrade Igboayaka O Igboayaka, the OYC president said they frown at what he described as the undue desperation of Atiku Abubakar to pick the presidential ticket of the PDP. He
reiterated that southeastern people had contributed to the formation, building, as well as sustaining PDP as the biggest party in Africa, so should not be denied their turn.
Comrade Igboayaka said: “If the PDP denies a southeasterner the presidential ticket, the only thing over 50m Igbo youths can do to ensure we keep Nigeria one is to massively vote for an All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate from the southeast. We’ll fight PDP like Yakubu Gowon did to keep Nigeria one.
“Atiku Abubakar should go to the history line of PDP formation from G34 led by Dr Alex Ekwueme before it became a political party, to ascertain that the southeast has paid the ultimate sacrifice in PDP more than any other zone in Nigeria. Atiku Abubakar’s call to contest in PDP is a call to interrupt the unity and peace of Nigeria and such a move will lead to political disaster, anarchy and a tribal crises that will sink Nigeria.
“The PDP must avoid using Atiku Abubakar, Aminu Tambuwal and other selfish presidential aspirants that are not from southeast to disintegrate or cause Nigeria her national unity. Atiku Abubakar should know that if any Nigerian desires to see Nigeria as the giant of Africa as proposed by Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, then it’s high time he dropped his presidential ambition and support a credible and competent presidential aspirant from southeast to build the Nigeria of Zik’s vision.
“Atiku Abubakar must awaken his human consciousness and realize that among the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, the southeast gave him the overwhelming highest vote, which led the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to nick-name southeastern people 5%. Therefore, it is historical that Atiku Abubakar and the PDP family is owing the southeastern people reciprocational gratitude in the 2023 presidential elections.”