Many funny things have happened since the 2019 Presidential Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party; Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar, made public his conviction that a former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, is his choice as running mate.
This announcement was welcomed with excitement and appreciation by the peoples of South-east geo-political zone, both at home and in the diaspora.
The joy Atiku’s announcement elicited was not limited to the peoples of the South-east. It even cut across the country.
Mr Peter Obi’s choice by Atiku is, in every sense, unique. Apart from the fact that he is one of the best five governors Nigeria has had the luck of producing since the return of democracy in 1999, Peter is a very shrewd successful business man who knows what it takes to grow any economy, no matter how bad it has gone.
Peter Obi is widely respected for the uncommon degree of financial discipline, transparency and accountability he displayed while he was governor of Anambra State. So far, he remains the best example in public fiscal management and administration.
Working side by side with his boss, Atiku Abubarkar who himself, as Vice President, was the brain behind the unquantifiable achievements of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, is a big success story in private sector investment, would go a long way to rescuing Nigeria from its present state of economic frustration.
The major concern of Nigerians now is how to come out of their current economic hardship that the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari has pushed them into.
Even leaders and stakeholders of PDP in the South-west who could have been justified if they had expressed grievance over Atiku not picking his running mate from the zone, accommodated the choice based on its merit.
The South-east has been complaining of marginalization by the APC federal government of President Buhari. The President had openly tagged the zone as one that should not expect anything more than a 5% patronage from his government, as her people did not give him more than the same percentage of votes.
There was, therefore, never a time the people of the zone could have imagined that any person or group of persons would come up with any iota of protest against the magnanimity shown to the Igbo by Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar by choosing Mr Peter Obi as his running mate.
Granted, many political leaders from the zone were qualified and had overt or covert interest in the position, the right of choice remained that of the Presidential flag-bearer.
Where the collective interest of South-east is at the front burner, no patriotic Igbo man should raise an eyebrow on Atiku’s choice.
For about two or three days now, both conventional and social media have been awash with rumour of the Deputy President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Dr Ike Ekweremadu, perfecting his desire to quit the Party that made him, Peoples Democratic Party, by ceaselessly planting his name in the map of both local and national political limelight.
His reason is as pitiable as it is laughable. According to reports, he wants to defect because he was not consulted before Mr Peter Obi was chosen as Atiku’s running mate.
For goodness sake, this type of reasoning should not be associated with a person of Ekweremadu’s calibre. This, avoidably, paints him in a very bad light.
The interpretation that is most likely to be made out of this excuse is that Ekweremadu, like Senator Akpabio, has been looking for a camouflage under which he could hide in order to enjoy a ‘protective escapist flight’ to the All Progressives Congress.
Like Akpabio before his infamous defection, Ekweremadu has been having questions to answer before the anti-graft agency.
It is not unlikely he is in the know that his fingers are badly soiled. A soft landing for him could be the choice of Peter Obi; the indisputable and indefatigable champion of good governance. What an irony of porous human calculation!
Ekweremadu is, none the less, entitled to his choice of Party affiliation or membership. What is ridiculous about his choice is the parochial and selfish reason he feels he could advance at this moment.
For those who think the defection of Ekweremadu would negatively affect the electoral fortune of PDP in the South-east, they should come out of their reverie because the electorate in Enugu State already know that Ekweremadu’s crossover is propelled by selfishness and greed.
Okwubunka of Asa.