BY NNENNA UKWUOMA, UMUAHIA
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abia State, Chief Emenike Ukandu, has described the exit of former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi from the PDP, as death sentence slammed on the realization of a Nigerian President of South East extraction in 2023.
Ukandu who spoke to INNONEWS in Umuahia said Obi’s exit from the party and withdrawal from the presidential race, has raised fears that he did so because the South East is not in consideration for the PDP presidential ticket.
Obi had left the PDP on Wednesday and withdrew from the Presidential race, citing “recent developments within the party” as reasons for his exit.
The PDP had thrown it’s presidential ticket open to all the zones, a development which provides opportunity for the North to also stake claims to the presidential ticket of the party.
Ukandu contends that the PDP acted in bad faith by not zoning it’s presidential ticket to the South East, despite the region’s consistent support to the party since 1999.
“The PDP holds the key to the realization of Igbo President of South East extraction in 2023
“If the party had zoned it’s presidential ticket to the South East, the APC would have been compelled to follow suit.
“The APC is simply towing the path of the PDP. If the PDP had zoned the Presidency to the South East, or even to the South, the APC would have done so and the chances of an Igbo, to become President through either the PDP or APC, would have been realizable in 2023.
Ukandu also noted that reports of the possible exit of former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremandu and Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe from the PDP, is also a manifestation that key Igbo leaders in the PDP are fed up with the party.
“The PDP has just lost a solid support base in the South East. With the exit of Obi, and possible exit of Ekweremandu and Abaribe, who of substance is left in the party in the region?
“It is sad that the party could shun the South East and shop for it’s presidential candidate from the North. And it is even strange that some PDP chieftains in the South East, are rooting for Northern presidential aspirants.
Reacting to a question that only a Northern presidential candidate can win the Presidency for the PDP considering the large voting population the North has over the South, Ukandu said such assumptions are wrong.
“In 1999, we had two frontline presidential candidates from the South- General Olusegun Obasanjo and Olu Falae.Didn’t the North vote for Obasanjo and he won?
“Didn’t the North vote for Obasanjo for a second term, and didn’t the North vote for Jonathan in 2011?
“Why will the North find it difficult to vote for presidential candidates from the South East. It is a wrong assumption and a perforated political argument” he stated.