INTERNATIONAL PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE NOMINATION OF HIS EXCELLENCY, MR PETER OBI AS THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE PEOPLES’ DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) BY HIS EXCELLENCY ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR AND OTHER RECENT POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press.
We welcome you to this International Press Conference.
On October 12th. 2018, the news came to us that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party has chosen Mr Peter Obi, the former Governor of Anambra State as his Vice Presidential running mate in the forthcoming Presidential Election in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. After brief consultation the President of ADF was mandated by the leadership of Alaigbo Development Foundation to issue a brief statement stating that ADF welcomes the nomination of His Excellency, Mr Peter Obi and congratulating His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his running mate.
We followed by sending text messages to our brothers who were said to be complaining about the procedure of the nomination to withdraw their opposition and support Mr Obi’s nomination.
Since then, we have received several questions particularly from some of our members as well as the broad spectrum of Umuigbo world-wide asking for clarification on the ADF action. Some of the questions being asked are the following:
- Why Mr Peter Obi?
- Why Mr Atiku Abubakar?
- What will be the impact of their Presidency on the Igbo predicament in the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
- How does this action of ADF relates to the mission of ADF which Umuigbo have increasingly come to identify with globally?
- What is more, the large bulk of Umuigbo who have lost faith in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and are asking why ADF should be supporting the 2019 election whose result will not guarantee the quest for Self-determination for Alaigbo and other nationalities who are clamoring for a political union in which they are now trapped as slaves.
- Will this development not abort the quest for freedom?
- Yes, why Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a Fulani man and a Moslem like Buhari. Although he rides on the banner of Restructuring, he has not clearly clarified his proposal for Restructuring. By the way, is it Restructuring that will resolve the century-old predicament of Ndigbo in Nigeria. Are we not intending to prolong Igbo predicament and suffering in Nigeria?
- They are also asking can Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi win the election that has been so badly skewed to return Buhari?
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is for the sake of clarifying these crucial but very legitimate questions amongst other issues that the leadership of Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) is addressing this International Press Conference.
- Why Peter Obi?
In our brief congratulatory message to Alhaji Atiku for choosing Mr Obi as his running mate, ADF stated:
“His Excellency, Mr Peter Obi, is one of the most Authentic,Trusted and Capable Igbo leaders through whom the continued membership of Alaigbo in the Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can be negotiated”.
Please note that ADF did not say that Mr Obi is the only person in Alaigbo worthy of such a choice by Atiku. But what is the basis of the judgment by ADF? Here is our answer.
In 2016, when nobody was thinking of Election or Nomination for the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, in further pursuit of her Aku-Ruo Ulo (Invest-At-Home) Movement, decided to undertake an Industrial Tour of Alaigbo to see for ourselves the challenges facing Umuigbo in their desire to invest and develop Alaigbo. The tour took us to Nnewi and Onitsha industrial axis.
It was amazing the extensive industrial complex in Onitsha which many people do not know. This was largely, as we were informed, due to Mr. Obi’s Administration. At Nnewi, we visited the massive Innoson Motor Manufacturing Complex. Innoson told us that everyone should thank Mr Peter Obi for what we were seeing of his Industry. For a take-off, Gov. Obi gave him a contract to produce vehicles for schools and institutions in Anambra state and paid him N5b ( five billion naira ) upfront. And he delivered the vehicles before the deadline given to him. He received further similar encouragement from Mr Peter Obi.
We were also informed that one of our business gurus had his goods seized at the International Airport in Lagos. Mr. Obi flew to Abuja and got President Jonathan’s intervention and had the goods released. What about his care of the old veteran political leaders in Anambra State – the late Mathematician and political leader, Prof. Chike Obi? What about Chief Mbazulike Amaechi?
ADF still has the video of the Industrial Tour for anyone who cares to listen to it on our website. Given this character of the man, Mr Peter Obi, it is inconceivable if he would be in any regime that continues to hunt and willfully destroy Igbo businesses and Igbo businessmen – we mean the siege on Innoson, the Ibetos, the Ifeanyi Ubas, the Pascal Dozies, etc.
Mr Obi is a pragmatic business man and we expect that he will be sensitive to the basic interests of the development of Alaigbo in the interim. Someone told us that the choice of Peter Obi is premised on his vast experiences in the areas of investment, economic and social development, an area Nigeria is scoring below par at the moment.
- Why Atiku Abubakar – a Fulani and a Moslem?
Many of us knew Atiku Abubakar initially through his political patron, late Shehu Yar’Adua. That was at the 1994-5 National Constitutional Conference. Yar’Adua was a Fulani and a Moslem, he was a liberal Moslem Fulani whose main allies were Southerners. His liberal outlook pitched him against the late Sani Abacha as well as the most conservative elements among the forces of hegemony. We remember the long reign of Military autocracy that culminated in the fascist regime of General Sani Abacha, a regime in which General Muhammadu Buhari served and which General Shehu Yar’Adua opposed and was killed for his opposition.
We remember the great achievements of that Conference. General Shehu Yar’Adua was at the head of the Liberal North and worked with the liberal forces in the South to initiate most of the democratic provisions meant to promote equity, justice and democratic governance in the Federation. One remembers the six geo-political zones, power-sharing and rotation of the Presidency, federal character principle and commission, new revenue allocation formula, etc, etc.
Thus, from the ideological and political point of view, we have a basis for choosing between these two Moslem-Fulani candidates – Buhari and Atiku.
- What will be the impact of their Presidency on the Igbo predicament in the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
We do not expect any miracle from anyone sworn to uphold the 1999 Federal Constitution. Igbo Predicament has a long history, right from the forced amalgamation of 1914. ADF has examined this history as well as interacted with our people both at home and abroad. We also know that the song of freedom is raging in many zones in Nigeria. This is a process which neither Atiku/Obi Government nor that of Buhari regime can abort.
The fact is that there are great obstacles on the way to our freedom which we must struggle to eliminate. Issues of development of Alaigbo, homeland security and protection of our people from the menace and killings of the Fulani herdsmen, dismantling of the military siege of Alaigbo, near comprehensive elimination of our people from the federal bureaucracy, total decay of our infrastructure, hounding of our businessmen, harassment and torture of our youth, We must continue to fight against these critical obstacles to our survival as people even as we continue to press on for Regional Autonomy or total freedom for our people, We cannot wait until that ultimate goal is achieved before attending to these daily nagging challenges.
The mission of ADF is the Rebuilding and Development of Igbo Nation and the Rebirth and Advancement of the Spirit of her Culture and Civilization. Put differently, ADF works for the
Restoration of the philosophical and social values of the Igbo Society; Re-energizing and Refocusing of basic Igbo communal spirit (Umunna), together with the spirit of enterprise and individual drive (Ikenga), anchored on the fundamental moral and spiritual ethos (Ofo-na-ogu). Ndigbo have been recognized world-wide for these philosophical and social values from time immemorial.
It is in the light the above that ADF and several pan-Igbo organizations and pro-Biafra organizations on July 28, 2018 present the Enugu Declaration, the details of which shall be published in due course.
- On the question of whether the Atiku/Obi ticket can win the 2019 Federal election in the light of the fact that the result of the election has been programmed to return Buhari, we in ADF dare say that Buhari can win only if the election is rigged. The election can only be rigged if the Security forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, DSS, EFCC, para-military agencies) and INEC are used to rig the election. In addition, they will succeed if the courts are used to provide legal legitimacy to the result of such rigging.
Yes, all these are possible. But ADF believes that there are well-meaning personnel of these agencies whose conscience will resist this evil. It is possible that the way things are now, some of these gentlemen are already wondering where such ignoble role will land them at the end of the day. Some of them are already wondering and asking themselves what would happen to them if, at the end of the day, the Atiku/Obi ticket wins the election. Given such scenario, the possibility of successful rigging of the election in the manner of the recent Ekiti and Osun elections cannot be guaranteed.
All said and done, all efforts must be geared towards ensuring that the regime of Python Dance, jihad, ethnic and religious cleansing is defeated while the struggle for freedom must be sustained very vigorously.
- . Finally, ADF would like to state quite categorically that we do not condemn anyone who honestly seeks the path of collective solidarity and collective support of Ndigbo for the nomination of Mr. Peter Obi as the Vice Presidential Candidate of the PDP, and to ensure the victory of their ticket. The trouble is only with those who, for one selfish reason or the other, seek to undermine the nomination and the victory of the ticket. There is no doubt that right now, as someone has stated, that over 95 % of Ndigbo endorse the choice. Ndigbo must now stand as one man to ensure the victory of the Atiku/Obi ticket.
- The APGA Primary in Imo State.
Ladies and Gentlemen, there is no way we can end this International Press Conference without a word on the political developments within the APGA family in Imo State. In short, ADF condemns the inability of the leadership of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) to conduct a transparent Party Primary to choose their candidates for the 2019 election in Imo State.
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ADF is not concerned about who was chosen but about the fact that there was obvious lack of transparency and decency in the exercise. Our worry stems from the fact that Umuigbo were beginning to look in the direction of APGA for the evolution of a political party that can effectively champion their Regional interest.
The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) hereby wishes to appeal to the political class in Alaigbo not to allow their political interests and ambitions to override the fundamental interests of Ndigbo.
PROF UZODINMA NWALA PROF.NATH ANIEKWU
ADF PRESIDENT ADF SECRETARY