The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar was cautioned on Tuesday by the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) for choosing Peter Obi as his running mate in 2019 general election.
Atiku recently picked former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi as his vice-president for the forthcoming election.
NYLF youths tabled their demand Tuesday after a meeting on Monday with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The national chairman of the group, Elliot Afiyo, advised Atiku to rethink his choice of Obi as his vice-president, if he hopes to earn the North’s support.
Afiyo said: “Atiku is an experienced politician, and he knows what happened and as a northern Nigerian, he cannot ignore that group. I have spoken to almost all the Southeast governors and they told me that they remained in PDP because of their governorship elections and after their governorship elections, they will vote somewhere, not PDP.”
“And for us to ignore the stakeholders, it is political suicidal, so we must agree with that fact. That was what we told Obasanjo yesterday, that as far as we want Atiku to succeed, he has no alternative than to drop Peter Obi and with the contention between Peter Obi’s group and Ike Ekeremadu’s group, it is not political convenient again to pick a running mate from the Southeast,” he added
Afiyo said northerners “consider Peter Obi as anti-North” in the way way he treated the northerners when Obi was the governor of Anambra State.
He stated that Obi is been considered as a bonafide member and major sponsor of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by the Northerners .
He also added that “70 percent of emirs, traditional rulers from the North will not support Peter Obi as the vice president.”
Afiyo said “Atiku is not a saint, anyone that becomes president, there must be a cabal, so we need a vice president that will tell the cabal ‘no’ and Peter Obi doesn’t have the courage and boldness to be the vice president to challenge the authorities. But if Atiku fails to heed our warning, then, APC will win. Buhari will win hands down because we cannot support a failure. We will work for APC.”
Obi’s spokesman Valentine Obienyem dismissed the claims by the group.
Obienyen said “All those that knew Obi very well for what he did in the past, both in his private business and governance of Anambra State and thereafter, wrote eulogies of him. Researchers went to work. After careful and painstaking analyses of his past, they submitted that he is humble, hard working, knowledgeable about the economy, aware of the myriad of problems of the country, detribalised and a believe in the unity of the country,”
He added that ever since Obi left office he has been busy visiting schools all over the “country from Cross River to Sokoto. Obi has been busy diagnosing the problems of the country and offering solutions. Obi has been busy diagnosing the problems of the country and offering solutions”
“Obi has been busy preaching unity of the country and how good governance will solve the problems in Nigeria caused by cumulative years of leadership failure that make the protest under review suspicious,” he added.