From Maurice Okafor,Enugu
A former Vice President of the country who is the 2019 Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party[PDP],Alhaji Atiku Abubakar yesterday assured the Igbo nation of adequate representation and assimilation into the central government, in as much as the issue of socio infrastructural decay and neglect of the zone by the federal government will be redressed,once he is elected as President of the country.
Atiku gave this assurance while addressing a gathering of Igbo leaders who attended a conference tagged,’Ndigbo 2019 and Beyond summit held at Nike lake,Enugu. Atiku said even though he is yet to flag off his electioneering campaign said he deemed it fit to address the Igbo leaders at their summit,the first of such meeting with any tribe in the country,based on his respect for the Igbo nation.
Atiku urged the Igbo leaders to collectively moblise their people to vote massivley for the PDP in the general elections in their collective and determined effort to sack to the APC controlled Federal government,which he said has ruined the economy of the country while the security of lives and properties are it’s lowest ebb since the past three years of President Buhari led administration took over power.
He urged the Igbo leaders to mobilse their citizens in ensuring that the APC controlled federal government is voted out of power.
‘We must have to ensure come out enmasse and ensure our vote counts. For me I will fight to the last to make usre President Buhari is voted out of power. Buhari must go’
He commended the Igbo leaders expressing their support for his joint Presidential ticket with Peter Obi, the immediate past Governor of Anambra state,expressing that both of them have the sterling qualities to turn around the economy of the country.
Responding to the request of Igbo leaders read bt President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo,Dr Nnia Nwodo for restructuring of the country, Atiku assured that restructuring of the country will be one of the cardinal policies of his asministration and that there is no going back.
His words, ‘The issue of restructuring the country is already settled. I have no reason to start talking about that because I have been preaching that for years. I am a product of a restructured Nigeria as at then. What we need to do is to come out in millions and vote for a ticket that beleives in restructruing Nigeria. That is Atiku/Obi ticket. Every other ticket is fake’.
Commenting on the poor state of infrastructures at Akanu Ibiam international airoport Enugu,Atiku described the runaways as the worst in every airport in Africa.’ I am always scared whenever coming into Enugu because of the poor state of the runways.
He assured that the restructruing of the country will guarantee revitalization of Enugu Coal mines as requested by Igbo leaders,describing coal as the major source of Energy in the defunct Eastern Nigeria.
‘Coal industries will be back to life. I beleive they will bring prosperity if I am able to supply power to both the artisans and technicians,grinders in the viallges’.
Responding to the lamentation of Dr Nnia Nwodo on the acclaimed marginalization of Ndigbo that includes non representation in the security council,Atiku Abubakar stated,’ I shed tears that only one part of the country is represented in the security council of the country. It is not federalism at all.
Earlier on,the Igbo leaders in the communique of their summit before the arrival of Atiku Abubakar said they they are identifying with the Atiku/Obi ticket based on their resturcturing agenda. Also urged Nfigbo to organise effectively for the purpose of realizing the Atiku/Obi joint ticket.
‘We identi with the Atiku/Peter Obi ticket on the restructuring agenda as has been reitrearated by four zones of the country namely,South South,South West,North Central and the South East. We beleive thatas long as the federating units remainweak,the center will continue to be weak. we equally move to appreciate the position of the Atiku/Obi ticket in promoting unity
In conclusion,the summit reiteratted that the time is NOW for Ndigbo to mobilzie and organize effectively to relaize the Atiku/Obi ticket. We are not campaigning against any body,We are simply campaigning for our very survival. Igbo voices must count whereever Ndigbo lives in Nigeria’.
But in a swift reaction to the decision of Igbo leaders who attended the 2019 summit at Nike lake yesterday, a group that operates as the Zikist-Buharist Movement urged the Igbo leaders to learn from Zik and desist from putting our eggs in one basket by opting for Atiku in 2019 presidential election.
In a statement through the Acting Secretary, Godwin Onwusi, ZMB recalled that when a similar situation arose in 2015, Ohanaeze Ndigbo opted for Goodluck Jonathan of PDP and it turned out to be a fatal decision for Ndigbo as a nation to put our eggs in one basket.
“History will not forgive Igbo leaders if we willfully put all our eggs into only Atiku basket and drop the more fruitful Buhari basket”ZBM stated
“In deep reflection we asked ourselves, what option in a scenario where two Fulani Muslim brothers – Buhari and Atiku are front liners in the 2019 Presidential Election, who could the great Zik choose if he were alive?