By Kelvin Freeman
A group, Eastern People's Front, has called on all Igbos all over the country to vote Atiku Abubakar into power in 2019 presidential election. This was disclosed by its national coordinator, Elder Ken Emechebe, at a stakeholders' meeting held on Sunday, 18th November, 2018, at Marble Arch Hotel, Awka.
Elder Emechebe said the choice of Mr. Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra State, as Atiku's running mate, was an indication that Atiku Abubakar had the interest of Igbos at heart.
Emechebe lamented that Igbos were grossly marginalized in piloting the affairs of the country, pointing out that Igbos were not slaves in Nigeria and would no longer be treated as such.
In a courtesy visit to Senator Ben Obi the same day, the elder statesman further disclosed that Igbos, according to INEC statistics, had about 26.7 million registered voters.
He stressed that the Igbos did not need Atiku to ask for their votes since an Igbo son was his running mate. He therefore asked all Igbos not to see the coming general elections as a party affair, but the survival of the Igbo race, stressing that Atiku and Obi's government would provide a conducive environment for the growth and development of their businesses and investments in Nigeria.
Speaking on the occasion, the former minister for power and erstwhile Vice Chancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said the coming general elections represented a deciding moment for the survival of Christianity in Nigeria.
Prof. Nebo pointed out that now was the time to preserve the future of Christianity by voting Atiku Abubakar into power, as, according to him, President Buhari's Administration was not friendly with Christianity, following the rampant killing of Christians and burning of churches in the northern parts of the country.
Prof. Nebo who is also an Arch deacon in the Anglican Church, stated further that security of life and property was one of the major constitutional obligations of the government, noting that where this had failed, the government had failed.
'We therefore need a visionary leader who has value for human life, religious tolerance and the necessity for symbiotic relationship among many ethnic groups in the country,' he added.
Responding, Senator Ben Obi said the vision of every Igbo man, and their friends around the world, was to see Atiku win the coming presidential election in 2019. He stressed that opinion polls have indicated that Nigeria's economy will end up in the doldrums, bringing untold hardship in the country if president Buhari continued in power.
Senator Obi said he would galvanize everybody within the sphere of his influence in Nigeria to ensure that Atiku won in the presidential poll come the 2019 general elections.
While pledging solidarity to Eastern People's Front, the distinguished senator reiterated that the group might witness opposition from Igbos with selfish interests, but noted that the leadership and its members should exhibit sincerity, trustworthiness and sportsmanship to achieve its objectives.
The leadership of Eastern People's Front on the same day paid a courtesy visit on the Catholic bishop of Onitsha Arch Diocese, Arch Bishop Valerian Okeke, to seek his support.
The Catholic cleric disclosed that the group had his support and blessings, pointing out that any political, religious, economic and social policy in the country that threatened the existence of the Church would not be tolerated. He further stated that he was an Igbo man and that it was not a mistake creating the Igbos.
The cleric vowed to defend the Igbo cause and support the general well being of all Nigerians. Bishop Okeke however frowned at the way Igbos treated themselves. He called on all Igbos to see themselves as brothers and form a common front for their survival and development of Igbo land.