Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has explained why the state government did not congratulate his immediate predecessor, Mr Peter Obi, on his nomination as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice-presidential candidate.
Governor Obiano’s Special Adviser on Political Matters, Chief Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, who made the position of his boss known on the development, stated that the state government would only congratulate Mr Peter Obi if the PDP eventually wins the presidential election and Obi is sworn in as the Vice-president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Governor Obiano had promised that as part of motivation to the people of the state to always aim higher, his administration would celebrate any citizen of the state who attained an enviable height in the society.
In view of the level of jubilation of former governor, Peter Obi’s nomination as running-mate to the PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, elicited among the people of the state, cutting across various segments, including the high and the ordinary persons, tongues had been wagging over why the state government had not congratulated the former governor of the state.
Speaking yesterday to newsmen in Awka, the state capital, Governor Obiano’s Special Adviser on Political Matters, Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, however, said there was nothing to celebrate at this stage of the game.
He said, “Let’s get something clear; I don’t think Peter’s nomination as VP candidate calls for any congratulatory message. If he becomes the vice president, we will congratulate him.
“We (APGA) are running for the presidential election against PDP and we fielded a candidate who we believe can win the PDP candidate, so we have no reason to celebrate Obi. Otherwise, we are saying we have already acknowledged that they will defeat us.
“If by any chance Obi becomes a VP, we will congratulate him. For now, we are in the trench, planning how we can win the election for APGA.
“You may not believe that we have chances, so also you would not have believed that a footballer would become the president of Liberia, or you would not have believed that the current president of Ghana would have defeated an incumbent.
While saying there would be surprises in the 2019 polls, Obiano said nobody should rule out the chances of APGA in the race.
“There are so many factors that will play out in 2019, the ethnic factor, security factor, the lack of governance, the inability of politicians to keep faith with the people. What we should all watch out for is that the election is not rigged”, he further stated.
Obi handed over to Obiano the mantle of leadership of the state on March 17th, 2014 on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
About six months after, Obi left APGA for the PDP, a situation that distanced him from the Obiano government.
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