South-East PDP leaders grumble over Obi’s choice as running mate

Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South East have raised objection on the method their party’s presidential running mate, Mr. Peter Obi was chosen and announced without their consultation.

The leaders who meet in Enugu, Saturday, said they only heard about Obi’s choice in the social media and felt slighted by the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The Chairman of the South East Governor Forum and governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, who addressed newsmen after the meeting however said that Abubakar would meet with South East leaders over the choice of his running mate.

Umahi revealed that Abubakar sent in message during their emergency meeting informing them that he was out of the country on a short period and pleaded with them to remain calm that he will be coming down to the zone to dialogue with leaders.

“We saw news flying up and down saying that our presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has picked a running mate from the zone. We were shocked because we were not consulted. While we were meeting, Atiku sent message that he travelled out of the country for a short period. He promised to come down and meet with South East leaders”

The meeting was attended by Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Okezie Ikpeazu and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.

Others were Senators Sam Egwu, Theodore Orji, other members of the National Assembly from the zone and other major stakeholders.

National Vice Chairman of the PDP for South East, Deacon Austin Umahi, who also addressed party members at the zonal party office said “We addressed many issues on how to ensure that PDP progresses and do better than it did in past elections in south east. We congratulate our presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and we are convinced that 2019 will be actualized.

“A burning issue came up, the issue of Vice President slot to South East and our leaders in the south east, the governors, the national Assembly members came together to appreciate the Party for the recognition of South East and keeping to their promise to give the vice Presidential slot to South East.

“However, South East leaders met and said they are not yet aware that something like that happened. But one good thing is our discussion with our Presidential candidate. He will be travelling tonight and he has promised when he comes back he is going to discuss with the leadership of the south east, that we are waiting, that we hope is going to be very fruitful. But one thing is very certain, PDP is assured that 2019 is our year.

“Peter Obi is our son and he is from the south east. we are not rejecting anybody but we are saying we are not aware but as leaders of south east said you cannot shave a Man in his absence. The people of the south east need to know, that is our stand. There is no rejection, he is our son.

However, Peter Obi’s Man and former Secretary of Anambra state, Mr. Oseloka Obaze while reacting to the decision of the meeting said “The decision has left some people here a little bit disenchanted because they believe there was no transparency.

“We must understand that never in the history of this country, NPN, PDP, had a candidate ever consulted on a zonal basis. they chose their candidate and they announce it. I do not understand why our case has to be different, apparently some people want to play games.”

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