Without doubt, the argument by some political leaders of the PDP South-East zone that the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, could not have picked a running mate from among them without their knowledge especially when he had bargained with them for the slot, is understandable and should be appreciated as adding to strengthen our democratic experiment especially in this era of “me too.”
This is more so when the zone has its own calculations on how to take a shot at the presidency when the position goes back to the south.
Those who know would agree that if Peter Obi’s kinsmen (some of their political leaders) did not kick in their usual characteristic manner, Obi’s credentials and suitability for the office would have become suspect.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council aptly captured the picture when the group in its statement in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State stated that the insinuation that the South-East is divided on Obi’s choice as Atiku’s running mate is untrue and a deliberate mischief by enemies of the zone to create rancour where there is none.
Despite the feigned furore which was at best an understandable political gimmick, Atiku deserves praise for making this tough choice among contending sectional interests. Those who know would agree that this was a deft move to address, to some extent, issues of equity and fairness.
Like him or hate him, Peter Obi is an enigma. Apart from the way he managed Anambra State economically for eight years; Obi has frugality, global world view, and vast experience in economic management, acceptability across board and limited political baggage. Above all, he is still a young man relatively speaking.
No doubt, Atiku and Obi will make a great team that will be able to steer our nation back on the path of progress, economic prosperity and unity. They are both successful business men, they both understand the benefits of industrialization and, most importantly, they are both employers of labour. What more can Nigerians ask for if not employment? Obi and Atiku joint ticket will be a veritable asset in our quest to get Nigeria working again.
It is on record that at a time many other governors were leaving huge debts, Obi left the equivalent of $500 million in investment as well as local and foreign currencies, including $156 million in dollar-denominated bonds. So he understands the dynamics of the economy. He has an impressive track record of tangible achievements both in governance and in his private sector life.
Few Nigerians can dispute the fact that Obi has proven himself to be a man of vision, mission, focus, compassion, piety and integrity, attributes needed to turn around the pathetic state of the nation’s economy.
South-East region had long deserved a better and higher role in the administration of this country. Obi himself has proven to be competent judging from his performance as governor.
His choice as running mate normally would be the right thing to do. There could not have been a fairer running mate than Obi from the South-East.