MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
A political pressure group known as Peter Obi Support Network (POSN) has appealed to a one-time Vice President of Nigeria and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku to jettison his Presidential ambition in the 2023 election and rally round his former running mate Mr. Peter Obi; a one time Governor of Anambra State.
In an open letter dated April 19, 2022 which was signed by Prince Emeka Kalu, Alhaji Kabir Garba, Adigun Makanjuola, Marcel Ngogbehei and Sani Saeed Altukry on behalf of the conveners,(copy of which was made available to AtlanticNewsonline) former Vice President has been encouraged to step down and support Obi to achieve the ardous task of becoming Nigeria’s leader.
The letter reads:
“We write on behalf of millions of our members across Nigeria to call on you, our Party Leader, His Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (GCON) to seize the moment and show again the leadership you ably demonstrated in 2019 when you rose above primordial considerations to choose Mr. Peter Obi as the PDP Vice-Presidential Candidate; an action that got the entire country “Atikulated & Obiligated”.
“The Atiku/Obi 2019 ticket has gone down in history as Nigeria’s most inspiring presidential ticket of all time, which in our view was an unfairly denied victory. Regardless of the foregoing, our relationship with you will last forever; and for the record, all of us in POSN were Atikulated & Obligated in 2019.Hence, for us, you are part and indeed the head of our family.
As a founding member and leader of our party, PDP, we have no doubt that you are conversant with our party’s tradition and constitutional provision on “rotation and zoning”, which in Section 7(2)(c) states that “… in pursuant of the principles of equity, justice, and fairness, the party shall adhere to the policy of rotation and zoning of the party and public elective offices and it shall be enforced by the appropriate Executive Committees at all levels”.
“The above-mentioned traditions and constitutional provisions were the reasons the PDP Convention for the 2019 Presidential Primary was an all-northern affair. The APC did the same, and we had a North vs. North (Atiku vs. Buhari) election in 2019.
The reasonable implication is that after eight (8) years of rule by President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidency should rotate to the South in 2023. As you are aware, Nigeria had President Olusegun Obasanjo (Southwest, 1999–2007) and President Goodluck Jonathan (South-south, 2010–2015), leaving the South-east outstanding. APC has zoned its 2023 presidential ticket to the South; therefore, PDP has no reason not to follow suit as a matter of law. To do otherwise will mean working against equity and fairness and inviting avoidable litigation and possible truncation of PDP’s participation in the 2023 presidential election, which will give APC a “walk-over-victory”.
“The mistakes of 2015 must not repeat themselves in 2023. God forbid that anybody should wish Nigerians another eight years of bad governance! The message that the PDP would send by conceding the ticket to the Southeast would drown the APC.
“Chief Obafemi Awolowo never ruled Nigeria, but his place in history is far above some of those who ruled the country. Our present situation presents a unique opportunity for you to become the hero of our Fourth Republic and assume a revered place in history and posterity.
Stepping down and supporting Peter Obi will not only save PDP and Nigeria, but also ensure that the Atiku/Obi ticket of 2019-which Nigerians so dearly missed is returned to power in 2023 and ensure that their lofty manifesto is implemented for the benefit of all.
“You had first-hand insight into Obi’s competence, and this need not be reiterated. The only difference would be role reversals in which the VP becomes President and the President provides the VP (by proxy or otherwise). With this arrangement, your place as leader of the new Nigeria will be irreversibly secured.
“Nigeria today is in an extreme crisis, and it is at times like this that history and posterity record its greatest heroes and heroines. We therefore, through this medium, respectfully invite you to further elevate your statesmanship status, in the same manner that President Goodluck Jonathan did for himself in 2015.
The POSN concluded by telling Atiku that, “the People’s Democratic Party, which, by the grace of God, you are one of its eminent leaders, should ask themselves this question: Suppose a northerner flies the PDP flag and loses to the APC, and then the APC goes on to have their eight years, will the PDP give the ticket to a northerner again in 2031, or will they give it to a southerner when the APC will be going north?
Secondly, insisting that the PDP ticket should go to the North is tantamount to saying that the North will continue to have the PDP ticket until the party wins the presidential election.
“Would it make sense for the PDP to concede the ticket to a southerner in 2031 when the APC will be going north if they win the 2023 election? Would it not make more sense for the leading political parties to align their zoning strategies for a united Nigeria? Is it not better for Your Excellency and the other northerners jostling for the presidency in 2023 to drop their ambition if they believe in a united Nigeria, and give it their all to win the presidential ticket through the South?”
Meanwhile, the group has invited Alhaji Abubakar Atiku to the scheduled launching of irs grassroots movement for Peter Obi scheduled for Monday, April 25, 2022, at Sandralia Hotel, Abuja.