By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidacy of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar at the weekend received a boost as a new front-line Igbo political organisation, Igbo Political Stakeholders Assembly, has thrown its weight behind it.
Coming two months to the elections, the alliance comprises eminent personalities, including former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife; Senator Ben Obi, Dr. ABC Nwosu, S.N Okeke, wife of the PDP presidential candidate, Mrs. Jennifer Douglas Abubakar, and the wife of PDP vice presidential, Mrs. Margaret Obi.
The group’s Chairman, Chief S N Okeke, a one-time Chairman of the Police Service Commission in the Obasanjo presidency, stated that the group expressed confidence in the capacity of Atiku/Obi ticket to end mass poverty, grow well-paying jobs, diversify the Nigerian economy, and most importantly, restructure the country.
The group further averred that “we find the Atiku policy document progressive in conception, compelling in vision and actionable given its specific details, timelines and implementation schedule.
“Apart from the well-articulated policy document that has the capacity to radically transform the country’s economic and social landscape for the better.
“We are impressed by the track record of Atiku and Obi as ‘broad-minded’ Nigerian patriots who will be fair and just to all irrespective of ethnic, regional, gender or class orientation.”
While charging the PDP presidential candidates to regard its policy and programme on restructuring not as a mere campaign mantra but an article of faith and binding social contract with the Nigerian people which should be delivered in a timely, well-structured and consensual fashion, the group declared that “it will deploy its considerable human and material resources, leverage on its extensive network of support across Igboland and the country, and partner like-minded patriotic women and community-based organisations to ensure the victory of the Atiku and Obi ticket in the 2019 presidential election.”
Other leading members of the group are AVM C E Umenwaliri, Chief Sam Nkire, Chief Rex Onyeabor, General C R U Ihekire, Chief Coleman Uba, Prof Uka Ezenwe and other prominent figures.