The People’s Democratic Party has unveiled the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council in Awka, as part of efforts to woo the South-East people to vote for the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, in the 2023 presidential elections.
Speaking during the unveiling in Awka, on Wednesday, the Director General, Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, said the South-East cannot attain the presidency of the country through sentiments and anger, unless by engaging with other geopolitical zones.
Okonkwo in his acceptance speech, tasked every member of the campaign council to go out and campaign for Atiku and not be afraid of the other two presidential candidates from the region.
Okonkwo said, “This journey is important and you have all taken oath. Sentiments, anger, do not give election results, it is calculation and patience that makes one victorious. Any decision taken today may look justifiable and will count for us later.
“You have no need to fear anybody or any other candidate, this state belongs to all of us. Your party is an institution, our presidential candidate is not difficult to market, so why should you fear because other parties have presidential candidates from Anambra?
“I accepted to be the Director General of Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council because I have confidence in Atiku and his ability to deliver on his mandate. Atiku will restructure Nigeria and if he does, our problem has been solved 50 per cent.
“I am talking not as one who has benefited from the system, but as an independent, hard working Igbo man. We need a man who knows the problem and ready to do all without fear to salvage Nigeria.
“No one in Africa has done more intervention than Atiku, but he is humble and loyal, and does not even defend himself in the face of negative attacks. Every vote matters in this election, and we are going to work aggressively to help Atiku Abubakar and PDP to win the election.”
Also, a former presidential adviser to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Senator Ndi Obi, who is the chairman of the Anambra State presidential campaign council, said it was high time all members of the PDP made sacrifices to save the country.
He said, “As the chairman of the campaign council for 2023, I will not let you down. Every member should man his or her polling unit and everybody must deliver their polling booth.
“With the calibre of men we have here, we shall be able to deliver Anambra. I plead with those whose names are not here to bear with us. They are part of what we are doing and no one will be left behind whether their names are on the list or not.
“This is a time for sacrifice. Our party is on the opposition and whatever we have to use to deliver the nation must be used to deliver it. Let no one deceive you, Anambra is PDP and in February, I am sure we shall prove that we are the party on ground. Do all you can to make the party proud.
“Atiku is not difficult to market, he is a man who has shown love and trust for the Igbo man. In 2007 he choose me as his running mate, and in 2019, he choose Peter Obi. That is the level and confidence he has for Igbo people. Atiku remains the surest means for an Igbo man to be president.
“As a result of the embargo placed on Igbo from being a vice president, Atiku still chose an Igbo man from Delta State. Let us vigorously campaign for Atiku, if Okowa becomes the vice president, he is our next door neighbour. Though we have brothers who are running, PDP remains the party with the grassroot.”
A woman leader the party, Chief (Mrs) Josephine Anenih, in her speech, said that Nigeria cannot afford another eight-year rule of the All Progressives Congress in the next dispensation.
She told the Ndigbo that the 2023 presidential elections was not about sentiments or anger about whose turn it should be to rule, but about engaging with the people of every geopolitical zones, which according to her, the Ndigbo failed to do.
She said, “The candidate of the APC is our only problem and threat in the 2023 presidential election, every other candidate is just cheapening our strength. God forbid, for this country to see another eight years of APC rule again, not even under Bola Tinubu.
“When they say it is Igbo’s turn, it pains me because it is not a question of whose turn it is. There is no turn by turn in politics, it requires engaging with the people to get what we want.
“Before now, the Ndigbo went to sleep and came out few months to the election without doing any strategy or consulting with other zones. The people should not be carried away by anything, the only hope for the Ndigbo and Nigeria is to support a candidate with restructuring at heart, that is a short-cut to getting what we want and that candidate is Abubakar Atiku.”
The party began the gathering with a large procession around the state capital.
The event was attended by several politicians, including Senator Uche Ekwunife, Dan Ulasi, Felix Oli and many others.