December 4, 2022

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2023: Ndigbo, PDP, Atiku, which approach?


CHUKS NWEZE from Enugu writes that there’s uncertainty whether or not or not the South East will give help to the Peoples Democratic Occasion’s (PDP) presidential flag bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, having hoped in useless that its loyalty to the occasion through the years can be rewarded.

Because the return to civil democracy in 1999, Ndigbo, the folks of the South East geo-political zone have lent their help to the primary opposition occasion in Nigeria, the Folks’s Democratic Occasion, PDP. 

That is primarily as a result of many outstanding Igbos like Alex Ekwueme, Senator Jim Nwobodo, Engineer Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Senator Arthur Nzeribe, simply to call a couple of, have been among the many founding fathers of the occasion.

Nonetheless, regardless of the explanation for his or her help and large voting of PDP candidates in elections, the Igbo folks till not too long ago have continued to vote the PDP en masse.  

Until date, Enugu and Abia have remained PDP states because the states have continued to vote PDP for governorship and and different elections and have remained constant since 1999.

The opposite states of the South east, Imo, Anambra and Ebonyi can’t be stated to be something lower than PDP. Recall that in 1999, all of the South East states have been PDP as a result of all of the governors in 1999 have been all PDP. 

Anambra a state at present beneath the management of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) had Chinwoke Mbadinuju of the PDP because the governor; Abia, Orji Uzor Kalu; Imo Achike Udenwa; Ebonyi Sam Egwu whereas Enugu state had Chimaroke Nnamani, all these have been governors elected on the platform of PDP. 

That was the image till 2003 when Peter Obi of APGA got here and issues started to tumble for PDP as a result of not solely Anambra now  has a non-PDP governor, Ebonyi and Imo states as nicely. 

The case of Imo is a bit peculiar. The state had been PDP till the state fell for APGA beneath Senator Rochas Okorocha. To perpetuate his maintain on energy, he co-founded APC the place he fused his APGA followers. 

Within the 2019 common election, the state returned to PDP after INEC  declared Hon Emeka Ihedioha winner of the governorship election. 

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Nonetheless, in controversial circumstances, the Supreme Court docket upturned Ihediora’s victory after eight months within the saddle and returned Senator Hope Uzodinma because the governor.  

From the foregoing, it’s clear that Ndigbo of South East have maintained loyalty and help for the PDP.  And what’s extra, whilst some states have produced non-PDP governors, within the presidential and nationwide meeting elections, Ndigbo have at all times voted massively for candidates of the PDP.  

Nonetheless, in a construct as much as the 2023, nobody is certain if the PDP will nonetheless get an analogous patronage from Ndigbo. The elements that portend this hazard are very evident.

As an illustration, in 2017, when the then governor of Enugu state, Barr. Sullivan Chime dumped PDP for APC, he stated that PDP is doomed.  In his phrases, “PDP is lifeless.”

Chime, little doubt, was talking on the premise of the disaster that engulfed PDP on the time that made so a lot of its members defect to totally different political events particularly the APC. 

Right now, PDP continues to be enmeshed in disaster of confidence as as to whether the nationwide chairman, Iyorcha Ayu ought to stay in workplace or not.

Whereas Chime left PDP due to inner disaster of the occasion on the nationwide degree, the governor of Ebonyi state, Engr. David Umahi, left the occasion as a result of he foresaw injustice looming within the occasion.

Umahi’s foresaw that the flip of Igbo to supply the president of Igbo extraction come, 2023 can be blatantly flouted and the chance denied. 

It’s no extra information that Umahi had been vindicated as a result of the PDP refused to honour rotational precept of the occasion and threw open its presidential ticket which was ultimately gained by Atiku Abubakar in controversial circumstances.

Right now, because the struggle rages amongst principal actors within the PDP, the breach of the rotational precept within the occasion not solely angered many Igbos, additionally it is attracting sympathy to the zone.  

The preponderant opinions gave the impression to be “despite the overwhelming help Ndigbo had given to the PDP and the outcry that it was the flip of Ndigbo to supply Nigeria president in 2023, it was undeserving of the South East that PDP developed deaf ear and edged Ndigbo out from the presidential contest. 

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As a substitute, the previous vice chairman, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who has been contesting for president since 2007 picked the ticket for the forthcoming presidential polls.

After the primaries of the ruling and the main opposition events, it was clear that neither APC nor the PDP would decide somebody from the South East extraction to run for the presidency.

Recall that in 2015 and 2019 respectively, the South East voted massively for the PDP presidential candidates. Whereas many states within the North and South West have been angling for the brand new occasion then, the APC, Ndigbo continued to help the then President, Dr. Good luck Jonathan who later misplaced to the incumbent, President Mohammadu Buhari.

Even with the defeat of the PDP in 2015, Ndigbo didn’t cease supporting PDP and thus supported Atiku Abubakar who was then the PDP presidential flag bearer and now Atiku the usual bearer of the occasion.

Consequently, the apex Igbo cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, furious, not too long ago got here out to remorse the massive help the South East had given to PDP since 1999.

The sensation within the ranks of Ohanaeze Ndigbo was that they’d supported Atiku and by extension, PDP in useless.  

Ohanaeze even posited that the marginalisation Ndigbo have been struggling in Nigeria since 2015 may not be unconnected with the help Ndigbo gave to Atiku and PDP within the earlier elections. 

Though Ohanaeze has not come out overtly to say “away with PDP, away with Atiku,” there isn’t a doubt that 2023 is perhaps a distinct ball recreation for Ndigbo so far as the place to pitch its help is anxious.

The nationwide publicity secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, in a current assertion stated Ohanaeze is regretting supporting Atiku in 2019, a sign that Atiku could not benefit from the overwhelming help he had loved in 2019 within the forthcoming polls.

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Ogbonnia within the assertion stated that he personally wrote Atiku to intimate him that Ndigbo regretted supporting him within the final election saying that the help has triggered Ndigbo rather a lot beneath the APC led federal authorities.

“I additionally wrote Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, reminding him that the present

Igbo travails is because of our help to his candidacy in 2019.

Investigation revealed that Ohanaeze had made

quite a few press releases urging Nigerians and the worldwide

neighborhood to lend help to the search by the South East for

presidency.

“A number of different Igbo activists and curiosity teams reminiscent of Nzuko Umunna led by Senator Chris Anyanwu, Arc Ferdinand Agu, and so forth have been additionally on the fore-front within the advocacy,” Ogbonnia wrote.

The assertion which was a response to an accusation by an activist, Kennedy Iyere that Ohanaeze Ndigbo was towards Igbo presidency and even collected gratification from the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu to truncate Igbo presidency, famous that Ohanaeze has been dedicated to the Igbo aspiration to have an Igbo presidency, come 2023.

“From the foregoing, it’s clear that Ohanaeze Ndigbo could not have something to do with Atiku and PDP within the 2023 presidential race, our supply revealed.

“What makes you suppose that Ohanaeze will help Atiku or Tinubu?  They won’t except they’re hypocrites.  For a very long time, Ohanaeze has been canvassing for an Igbo presidency even from the time of Nwodo and now Obiozor. 

“Since PDP refused to respect the rotational agenda of the occasion, there isn’t a approach any affordable Igbo man, to not speak of Ohanaeze will help Atiku or PDP,” a political analyst, Ossy Nwigbo advised our correspondent in an interview.

“Atiku and PDP are completed in Igboland.  Since they made presidential ticket open and reneged on energy sharing agenda, Ndigbo won’t look their approach once more,” Comrade Kindness Jonah, Convener, Voice from the East, VEAST, an Igbo curiosity organisation stated.

Since a vote for Atiku is a vote for PDP, it’s unlikely that Ndigbo could look the way in which of Atiku or PDP, come 2023 however time shall inform.