By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The senator representing Imo North in the senate on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), Benjamin Uwajimogu, has said the choice of former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, as the running mate to PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, cannot assuage the desires of the Igbos to occupy the Presidential seat of the country.
Senator Uwajimogu who recounted that the Igbos had occupied the number two seats severally before and after the civil war, pointed out that an Igbo person being elected the President of Nigeria will mark the true end of the civil war, even as he listed Ebitu Ukiwe, late Alex Ekwueme, among others, as those who have occupied the number two seat before now.
Senator Uwajimogu, who stated these while fielding questions from journalists, however argued that President Muhammadu Buhari will garner more votes from the Igbo region much more than he did in 2015, which he said was because the Igbos have recognized that it is only in APC that the Igbos desire for Presidency is guaranteed.
“I think we want to have a taste of the real thing, and it is only APC that guarantees us that opportunity to have a taste of the real thing. I want to be number one, we cannot permanently be number two.
“Every opportunity should be given. The Igbos should be the number one in 2023, and I do not think that giving us a vice presidential candidate, which does not represent the interest of the south east will assuage the south easterners. We want to also be recognized as one of those who belong to this country.
“What the presidency means to the Igbos is that it is like the actual end of the civil war, that we have been once again recognized and reintegrated into the Nigerian society, that we are part of Nigeria and we cannot continue to be number two all the time. I do not think that the choice of Peter Obi as the Vice Presidential candidate of PDP, has actually advanced the opportunities of the PDP in any way forward”, he said.
He also dismissed the capacity of Atiku Abubakar to neutralize the popularity of President Buhari in the North, especially being a Fulani. According to him, comparing Buhari and Atiku is like comparing ‘apple and orange’, even as he argued that Atiku represents the Old Order of corruption and ineptitude, while President Buhari is a new face of Chang.
“Comparing Atiku to Buhari is like comparing apple and orange, they are not the same. They represent two sharp differences, very sharp differences exist between the two of them. We are talking about somebody who wants to come in and continue the old order and somebody who has brought change and he wants to consolidate on that change.
“You know change takes a long time to take root, and for a country that has witnessed forty years of military regime, for a country that has witnessed sixteen years of decrepit political leadership as was offered by PDP for sixteen years.
“For a country where ninety eight per cent of its so called millionaires and so called rich people, are all living on rent, having benefited from the patronage of federal government, it will take a long time to get people to recognize that this is a way to go. It is difficult to bring about change, particularly the way we think change should be, and that is what we are suffering in today’s Nigeria”, he said.