Obaze Backs Ohaneze on Atiku, Obi

Feb 04, 2019

Oseloka Obaze, chairman of the Anambra Chapter of the Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign Council

By Jude Atupulazi

The presidential ticket of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi represents the best interest of Ndigbo in short, medium and long term, and this is according to the chairman of the Anambra Chapter of the Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Oseloka Obaze, who spoke to newsmen last Tuesday in Awka.

Obaze, who was contested for the governorship of Anambra State on the platform of the PDP in 2017, said anyone opposed to the decision of Ohaneze to back Atiku and Obi was only promoting personal interests.

It will be recalled that recently the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohaneze, through its president general, Nnia Nwodo, had endorsed the ticket of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi for the 2019 presidential election, citing among other things, Atiku's favourable disposition to the restructuring of Nigeria, as well as his choice of Obi as his running mate.

But no sooner had the endorsement been announced than negative reactions emanated from some quarters, notably from the Anambra State Government, which accused Nwodo and the Igbo umbrella body of partisanship.

But reacting to the endorsement, Obaze declared support for the action of the Ohaneze, describing it as pragmatic as the Atiku/Obi ticket stood the best chance of wresting power from the incumbent government.

'I stand with Nwodo one hundred percent. Nwodo is not naïve by any measure; neither is he shopping for any office. If they think he has not done the right thing, let them convoke a meeting of Ime Obi (Ohaneze's highest decision making organ) and see if they will succeed. I don't think they will,' Obaze said, insisting that those quarreling with the endorsement were pursuing personal interests, rather than the general.

He particularly called on the secretary general of Ohaneze who flayed the endorsement to resign if he did not like what the body had done.

Obaze wondered why the Igbo Nation should always be fighting among themselves as opposed to other ethnic groups who always respected whatever their leaders in Arewa or Oduduwa decided for the interest of their zones.

Insisting that the Ohaneze took the decision to endorse Atiku/Obi in the best interest of the Igbo Nation, Obaze said there should be a time when a people must take a firm decision on matters concerning them just as Ohaneze had done.

Noting that Ohaneze felt that Igbo interest would be better protected by Atiku on the issue of restructuring, Obaze used the delay in according Anambra the status of an oil producing state, to underline the raw deal Igbos were getting under Buhari.

He regretted that despite Anambra not enjoying the statutory 13% derivation from the federal government as an oil produing since 2012, Lagos State which was classified as an oil producing state in 2016, had started getting 13% derivation like other oil states.

He therefore praised Ohaneze for its courage in identifying with someone who had agreed to the restricting of the country.

He therefore praised Ohaneze for its courage in identifying with someone who had agreed to the restricting of the country.

The former Secretary to the Anambra State Government, SSG, maintained that the Atiku/Obi ticket offered the Igbos the quickest route to the presidency more than that of Buhari/Osinbajo.

Arguing that it was easier for Obi, as vice president, to succeed Atiku in the end, just as Osinbajo was likely to succeed Buhari in four years' time, Obaze said that anyone expecting Ndigbo to upstage the Yorubas in four years' time for the presidency was fooling oneself.

'I stand with Nwodo one hundred percent. What he did was courageous,' Obaze reiterated.



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