PDP Presidential Primary: Obi Woos Youths, Zonal Party Leaders
* Okupe alleges plot to force Obi out
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Barely one month to the conduct of the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), one of the aspirants and former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, has reached out to zonal leaders and youth leaders of the party from the 36 states, urging them to support his aspiration.
The meeting with the party stakeholders came just as Obi’s supporters have raised the alarm over a plot to force him to step down.
Obi’s top campaign manager, Doyin Okupe, while speaking at the meeting of the PDP zonal and youth leaders from the 36 states, said there were moves to frustrate his efforts to clinch PDP presidential ticket.
“From the present configuration of our party, I am sorry to say it, the best is not still going to emerge except you people stand up and say no. Talking about money, how much can anyone offer you at the convention that can last you for the next five years.
“Let us begin something new, let us reject the idea of saying we know your candidate is the best but we can find a way to accommodate him. That is nonsense, with all due respect. It is about time that we began to put merit above mediocrity,” he said.
Okupe said that most Nigerians are in agreement that Obi is the man that can best address the problem of the country at the moment.
He also said that history is replete with examples of how countries in dire situations like Nigeria got their fortune turned around by choosing people with exceptional qualities like Obi.
He told the youths that if anyone should give them money at the convention, they should not allow it to sway their resolve to elect a candidate that best suits the job.
Okupe however charged the youths and zonal party leaders to resist what may lead to denying Nigerians the opportunity to have the best hand to safe the country from the present economic crisis.
He specifically urged the youths to demand that the best hand is given the ticket to reposition Nigeria in 2023.
Okupe said: “What Peter Obi stands for is known to everybody. I’ve attended many meetings, but this youth group excites me. I’m very qualified to become the next president of Nigeria. But I urge myself to step down and support Peter Obi. I did this because he’s more qualified and competent to handle the affairs of this country.
“Many Nigerians have agreed that Obi is the man who can fix Nigeria. When nations approach critical periods, God sends people to deliver them. This group, the youths are the owners of the future. If Nigeria is better, the youths will be the major class of people that will benefit. The way the PDP is currently structured, it will not go for the best hands. We must demand for it and take it.”
On his part, Obi lamented the bad situation the country has found itself and urged Nigerians to immediately rescue the country before it collapses.
He said: “Everyday in Nigeria, you hear bad news. We can no longer pretend. Nigeria is no longer a destination for investors. Nigeria has not paid a dollar into its account since January despite the fact that prices of crude oil have gone up.
“The PDP should pick its next candidate based on merit. The youth must change the future of Nigeria. Nigeria is collapsing and it is happening fast. It may not be too long before it will completely collapse. Tension and unrest still persist and we should be worried. Nigeria is one of the most stressful countries to live in today.”
Earlier, both the zonal party leaders and the youths had pledged their support for the emergence of Obi as the PDP presidential candidate.
The zonal leader of the PDP in South-east, Ali Odafe, while summing up the positions of his colleagues from the other zones who were at the meeting, said that they are proud of the qualities and antecedents of Obi both as a former governor, seasoned economist and business man.