2023: Anambra Youth Coalition Asks Obi to Step down
A Coalition of youths in Anambra state have called on the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, to drop his ambition to lead Nigeria and join hands with progressives forces in the South-east to negotiate a brighter political future for the Igbo people.
The group called Coalition of Anambra Youth Leaders, said that there are fears that Obi’s insistence on contesting the presidency will rub-off negatively on Ndigbo and brighten the chances of the All progressives Congress (APC) to retain power at the center.
Noting that the APC experiment has been disastrous for the country, the youth coalition said all efforts must be geared towards rescuing Nigerian from the party, adding that another four years of APC at the centre may eclipse Nigeria totally.
Addressing journalists at a press conference in Awka, the Anambra state capital, National Leader of the Coalition, Dr. Chinedu Ekwealor, said Ndigbo stand a better chance of returning to power at the center through the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to him, Obi ought to, at this time, reconsider the negative impact of his personal ambition on the future of the Igbo nation and stand down in support of the party which vice presidential candidate he was in 2019.
Ekwealor said that Obi’s Labour Party has no mathematical chance of winning the 2023 presidential election adding however that emotions will not bring in the desired numbers that will satisfy the constitutional requirement to be declared winner of the presidential election in Nigeria.
Though he said that it was human for people to be emotional about Obi’s ambition, the youth leader however stated that “emotions don’t win elections. Superior numbers do”.
Stating that “Obi does not have a mathematical chance of making victory possible”, the youth group said “let us not be emotional about it. No Igbo man can be President of Nigeria without a formidable alliance with the other major regions that make up Nigeria.”
He argued that “in the early ’60s and late ’70s, Ndigbo understood this point quite frankly and maintained a robust relationship with our northern brothers. Our brother Peter Obi does not have this alliance and knows very well that an irate social media mob does not, and cannot, make him President.”
Warning that Obi’s ambition may work against the Igbo nation in the near future, the youth coalition said: “Obi’s presidential run is sabotage to Ndigbo. What he has only succeeded in doing is increasing APC’s chances of winning the election by depleting the votes of the southeast for PDP. The implication is that the Southeasterners will have to stay out of power for a minimum of another 16 years. This is because after Tinubu (if he wins), power would return to the north for another eight years leaving Ndigbo out for another 16 solid years.
“If Mr. Peter Obi truly loves Ndigbo, he should step down forthwith and strategize with other well-meaning Igbo elites in charting a way forward for the Igbo nation. We repeat, the presidency is not won on the premise of wishful thinking and hullabaloo of an untamed mob, who probably do not even understand the need for a pathway for the Igbo nation”, Dr. Ekwealor added.
Pushing for a new narrative for the Igbo nation, the youth coalition said that “Ohaneze Ndigbo and prominent Igbo leaders, including Obi, must now without any further delay, engage seriously with the frontliners in the forthcoming presidential election, and secure bankable negotiations for Igbo political renaissance and pathway to the presidency of Nigeria”.
Commending the Anambra state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, for his courageous display of statesmanship in speaking the truth to Obi, the group said the governor, in his essay, “stated the facts as if they were not minding whose ox is gored”.
According to the group, Soludo displayed courage and leadership in his treatise as the fate of the Igbo nation is in jeopardy following Obi’s ambition.
The group said: “It takes a lot of courage and political will for any politician from the southeast to make the very firm, bold and factual statements as Governor Soludo did. This timely intervention by the prudent thinker has given leeway to other prominent Igbo leaders, who for the avoidance of the shameful macabre dance by a mob, swallowed their hallowed bank of wisdom and refused to air an opinion on this matter, now to come forward with critical thinking and analysis.”
Calling on the Igbo nation to rise in support of the building of stronger alliances with other sections of the country for political gains, the group said Ndigbo can no longer afford to exclude themselves from Nigeria’s politics by playing the politics of exclusion.
It noted that the Igbo nation ought to now borrow a leaf from the political sagacity of one of their revered son, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who according to the group, built bridges that many Igbo peopl climbed to become national political icons.
“History repeats itself only to those who do not learn from history. Ndi Igbo must now wake up and adopt the political sagacity and gusto of late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. The Zikist politics of bridge building gave Ndigbo our best chance in the political history of Nigeria when an Igbo man was President of Nigeria in the ’60s, and another Igbo man as Senate President, the same Zikist politics of alliance gave Ndigbo the Vice Presidential and House of Representatives speakership slots in 1979. That is what Ndigbo have forgone for wishful thinking and mob action which has repeatedly gotten us nowhere”, the group stated.