In what appears like a veiled attempt to strike a give-and-take deal for the zone, the South East caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 presidential poll with a demand that he should help in facilitating the zoning of the presidency to region in 2023.
A delegation of the caucus, while on visit to the president at the presidential villa, reaffirmed the unanimous decision of the party in the South East zone on December 31, 2017 endorsing President Buhari for a second term in office.
In an address on behalf of leaders from the zone, national vice chairman, South East APC, Hon, Emma Eneukwu, also thanked the president for the several projects receiving attention of the federal government in the region, including the 2nd Niger Bridge, Enugu-Port Harcourt road, the Enugu-Onitsha –Owerri road, among others.
Striking the give-and-take deal with the president, Eneukwu said, “It is our conviction that four years is not enough for you to complete this worthy journey hence the need for another four years to enable you make Nigeria truly great.
“We implore Mr President, as a just and fair-minded leader, to make history by supporting the zoning of the office of the president in our great party to the South East at the end of your second tenure in office as President in 2023”.
On his part, President Buhari also pledged to give his best to all Nigerians, saying he will be guided by a clear conscience in making decisions for the progress of the country.
A statement issued by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted the president as thanking the South East leaders for their patriotism, sacrifices and support for the peace and stability of the country.
Commending the South East leaders for acknowledging the laudable and consistent efforts of his administration to restore Nigeria to the position of eminence, Buhari said, ‘‘I am very pleased for your patriotism and consistency in supporting our administration. You are always going around explaining things even at the risk of abuse.
‘‘I want you to know that I have not forgotten the efforts and sacrifices you have made in the successes I have achieved in my position and I appreciate what you are doing for the stability of our country and the future of our children and our grandchildren. I assure you that whatever I try to do, I will do it with a clear conscience and I’ll do the best I can do for all Nigerians”.
In the same vein, the South East APC caucus met yesterday at the Abuja Lodge of Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha where they took far-reaching decisions on how to ensure total victory for President Buhari in the Zone in in the 2019 general election and for APC as a party in the zone.
The leaders unanimously agreed to close-ranks for the re-election of President Buhari and for APC victory in the five states of the South East geo-political zone.
They also unanimously endorsed Governor Okorocha as the leader of the Buhari Campaign Council in the South East, even as they commended the Imo governor for keeping the flame of APC in the region aglow.
They equally agreed to formally set up President Buhari’s campaign organisation in the South East under the leadership of Governor Okorocha, while the leaders from the states would also go and set up similar structures in their individual States.
Resolving not to allow the fate that had befallen APC in the Zone in 2015 to repeat itself in 2019, the South East leaders agreed that they would let Igbo people know and appreciate the efficacy of launching the zone to national politics, using the 2019 election as a take off point.
Delta PDP Guber Aspirant In Secret Talks To Join APC
Indications emerged yesterday that a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, has concluded plans to dump the opposition party for the ruling APC.
LEADERSHIP gathered that Olejeme, a former chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), had been in secret talks with women leaders of the party, both at the state and the national level, on how to join the APC along with a retinue of her supporters in Delta State.
“Considering the role of women in contemporary politics, it is believed that with her strong influence on women in the state, APC will make a leeway Delta if she joins the governing party”, a reliable source in the APC told our correspondent.
Confirming the development, the APC women forum led by Hajia Aisha Bala yesterday commiserated with Olejeme over the death of her husband, Mr. Gordon Obua who passed away last year.
Before his death, Obua was Chief Security Officer (CSO) to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking on behalf of the women groups, Aisha who is the national coordinator of the APC Women Forum also urge Olejeme not to think twice about dumping the PDP for the ruling party.
She said Olejeme has a very high pedigree that is difficult to overlook by any serious political party, hence the call on her by the women to join the APC without further delay.
According to her, Olejeme would be bringing along with her an extra ordinary resume dating back to her wealth of experience and achievements, both in the public and private sectors respectively.
Her words: “Olejeme is in PDP, but PDP is a sinking party. So, we want her with us in APC. Her records in the government organizations where she had served as chairman of NSITF board remain difficult to beat by anybody.
“For instance, at NSITF, she met only 80-member workforce when she resumed as Chairman of the Board but she increased the workforce to about 7000 before the board was dissolved. There were virtually no branch offices nationwide but she ensured that new offices were open all over the country and this jacked up revenue to government coffers.
“As chairman of Trust Fund Pension PLC, she also took that organization to its peak in terms of growth. A similar performance was re- enacted when she was in the Board of SURE –P as Convener on Public works/FERMA. Her grassroots Polity is an added advantage to our Party both in her state, Delta and at the national level.
Hajiya Aisha noted that the current probe into the tenureship of Olejeme at NSITF by the EFCC is nothing to worry about, as she is sure the woman would be vindicated at the end of the day, adding that after all she voluntarily reported herself for investigation by EFCC after her long surgery abroad.
“Some people have been making issues of the invitation of Dr. Ngozi Olejeme by the EFCC but to those of us who know her, we know she’s going to come out of it with her reputation intact. So, we are not worried at all.
She continued: “We are not leaving anything to chance in getting the Former Women Power House of PDP to the change family. We shall continue to plead with her to see reasons why she needs to join the Progressive Family.
“Just imagine the kind of grassroots support this woman of substance garnered for Delta PDP in those years. It was unprecedented and this grassroots magic that made Delta state to return second largest votes for PDP in 2015 presidential elections”.
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