The Imo State chapter of the PDP has dismissed Obi’s popularity in the zone, saying the party was not disturbed by it.
Political leaders and elders in the South East region have reportedly asked the presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to choose his running mate from the region.
The leadership of the PDP in the region argued that the Vice President slot should be ceded to the South East since the opposition party failed to zone its presidential ticket to the region that has been supporting the party since 1999.
In an interview with The Punch, the Publicity Secretary of the Anambra State PDP, Nnamdi Nwagwu confirmed that the South-East had demanded the vice-presidential ticket.
He said, “They (South-East leaders) are making such a demand for the VP slot. Let us see how it goes. They are making the demand because every party has sidelined the South-East and it is only in the PDP that they can get the VP slot because they cannot get it from the APC as the APC already has a southern presidential candidate.
“Only the VP slot can secure votes for the party in the zone, if not, it will be difficult to wrest the votes of the region from Peter Obi. And let us see how it goes if the VP slot will be given or not.”
Recall that Atiku emerged as the Presidential candidate of the PDP last month after the party decided to throw its presidential ticket open to aspirants from the six regions in the country.
Atiku defeated former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim, and an ex-President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Sam Ohuabunwa, both of whom are from the South East and many others.
It would also be recalled that a few days to the party’s primary election, Peter Obi, who was Atiku’s running mate in the 2019 presidential election dumped the PDP for Labour Party.
Obi is now the party’s presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, Atiku’s emergence had been criticised by the apex socio-cultural organisation for the Igbo, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
The group argued that the PDP betrayed the zone that supports the party every election year.
In 2019, the PDP secured 1.6 million votes in the South-East against over 403,000 votes polled by President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress.
However, following Obi’s defection to the LP, analysts have maintained that the growing support the former governor of Anambra State currently gets from the South East and among the youths might affect the PDP in the region.
But the Imo State chapter of the PDP has dismissed Obi’s popularity in the zone, saying the party was not disturbed by it.
Corroborating this, the Director-General of the New Media of the PDP in the state, Collins Opuruzor maintained that the PDP was not worried about Obi’s candidature.
Opuruzor said that the opposition party was mobilising for victory not only in the South-East but across the country.
Also, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologbunagba reiterated the same sentiment in an interview with The Punch.
He said the PDP’s focus is not on anybody’s popularity but on the party’s plan for Nigerians.
“When we talk about popularity, that is your assessment and you are entitled to it. When we get to the polls, the popularity will reveal itself.
“We are not talking about somebody’s popularity. That is not what we are talking about. We are focused on our party. That is the important thing. We are focused on what we are doing and what we will do for Nigerians. We are focused on insecurity, our kids being out of school for one year,” he said.
Reacting, the Spokesman, Peter Obi Support Network, Sani Altukry slammed the PDP, saying the party “failed to address the yearnings of Nigerians for equity and justice.”
According to him, Obi is now a national movement and revolution that will bring an end to the PDP and the APC.