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Igbo PDP leaders Accuses Atiku Of Ignoring Pre-Convention Agreement
Atiku Abubaker the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party is reportedly facing a southeastern leaders problem as he is being accused of reneging on some of the pre-convention agreements. It was understood that the breach of the so called pre-convention agreement is the Genesis of his problems with the leaders of the zone. One of the allegedly breached Pre-Convention Agreement was the choice of Atiku’s running mate Peter Obi the former Governor of Anambra.
News making the rounds is that the deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and some Governors are angry with the said breach of Pre-Convention Agreement. Also Friends and associates of the deputy Senate President are allegedly pressurizing him to defect from the party.
The alleged Pre-Convention Agreement includes consultation with southeast leaders on how to pick vice presidential candidate; consensus on other positions conceded to the zone; finding a meeting point with the zone on Atiku’s idea of restructuring; need to spend one term in office and cede power to the southeast in 2023; the offer of the VP slot to Ekweremadu (Right of First Refusal) before any other candidate.
Atiku had allegedly offered Ekweremadu the vice presidential slot a year ago. Sources said the deputy Senate president’s response had always been: “let us get the ticket first. I am interested in the southeast being in the mainstream of power equation in Nigeria.” It was gathered that the southeast PDP leaders worked for Atiku during the party’s presidential primary, against Governor Nyesom Wike’s preferred candidate, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, because of the alleged agreements. However, within a week of Atiku’s emergence as PDP presidential candidate, he named Peter Obi as the running mate, causing bad blood in some political quarters in the zone. The reports stated that Obi himself has since launched a mission to douse the tension, moving round the zone to talk to those that matter.
All these continue to be a source of worry for Atiku in the south east region of the country.All our leaders have no grudges against Obi but they are just unhappy about how Atiku reneged on some of the agreements reached with him especially the essence of carrying stakeholders along,” an anonymous source was quoted to have said on Saturday, October 20. “Shortly after he emerged as the PDP candidate, he has stopped consulting Ekweremadu, southeast governors and leaders. “The painful thing is that he bowed to pressure from outside the southeast to pick Obi and he did not care to revert to these leaders and governors on his choice. “For instance, Ekweremadu (the highest ranking political office holder in the southeast) was not briefed and has not been briefed till today on why Obi was picked. “Yet, it was Ekweremadu who coordinated and delivered the block votes from the southeast to Atiku at the convention. “The assumption is that if Atiku can treat southeast leaders and governors in this manner as a candidate, what if he becomes the president. It is just a matter of trust. When in need, he offered Ekweremadu the position of running mate. Courtesy demands that he should have also confided in Ekweremadu before choosing Obi.”
Another annolymous source confirmed that the southeast leaders are truly behind Ike Ekweremadu and has started weighing their options on their next step.The third option mentioned by the source is allegedly to remain in PDP and sabotage Atiku by entering into an alliance with President Muhammadu Buhari on a good deal for the southeast if he is re-elected. The source added: “From the look of things, it seems there is a conspiracy within PDP to alienate Ekweremadu. “Apart from Atiku, the national chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, has not deemed it fit to call the deputy president of the Senate on why Ekweremadu was not invited to the meeting where Obi was nominated. Even after the nomination, Secondus has not met with Ekweremadu on the choice of Obi. “The party and Atiku went ahead to constitute the Presidential Campaign Council without any input from Ekweremadu. This is an insult. “Some powers that be are angry with Ekweremadu for backing Atiku and the same presidential candidate does not care a hoot about Ekweremadu. “It is regretful that we all betrayed Wike and now Atiku is abandoning our leaders.” Responding to a question, the source added: “With the choice of Obi, Atiku is going about as if he has the southeast in his pocket. Far from it, the scenario may be different during the presidential election. “Atiku needs to sit down afresh with Ekweremadu and other leaders to win votes from the zone. These are matchmakers in their own right. “The unfinished business includes the following: reaching consensus on other posts to concede to the zone; finding a meeting point with the zone on Atiku’s idea of restructuring; need to spend one term in office; and Ceding power to the Southeast in 2023. “Without definite answers to these demands, Atiku should forget the backing of the Southeast,” the source said. It was also gathered that Senate president Bukola Saraki, who is the director-general of the PCC, has waded into the complaints of the southeast leaders.
Obi has embarked on a peace mission is the region to pacify their concerns.Obi visited the leaders to seek support from them ahead of 2019 presidential election. He payed homage to Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on Friday, October 19. Obi visited Ebonyi state governor, Dave Umahi, and Abia state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, as well as deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu.