Despite the agitation for the need for an immediate shift in the presidential power to the South, not fewer than 17 leaders of political parties, including Civil Society Organisations have placed their weights on a former Vice President of Nigeria and aspirant for the presidency in the 2019 presidential elections, Atiku Abubakar. This is ahead of 2023.
While flagging off their rallies in Asaba, Delta State capital during the weekend, the groups under the aegis of Coalition for Atiku Support Groups Initiative, CASGI declared that ethnicity or political divide should not be the yardstick for whoever will become the president of Nigeria in 2023.
Inaugurating the Delta State Chapter of CASGI, the Director General, Comrade Obinna Okorie, said “CASGI (irrespective of different political affiliations) believes and align with His excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar GCON political ideology and his capacity to lead”.
According to him, “Today’s Nigeria have witnessed the highest level of insecurity, unemployment, youth restiveness and acute borrowing with unproductivity, which have endangered our great nation”.
Comrade Okorie described the ‘CASGI ATIKU 2023 PROJECT’ as a pan Nigerian project, which cuts across ethnicity, political party affiliations and other subterranean considerations.
CASGI DG therefore urged “the PDP to give His Excellency Atiku Abunakar the presidential ticket come 2023 reason being that Atiku Abubakar is most placed to lead PDP back to power considering his last performance and his demonstrability of wealth creation and economy building.”
Comrade Okorie said, “Atiku has shown himself a pan-Nigerian, who comprehends the in-depth heterogeneity of a multi religious and multi-cultural society like Nigeria.
“Atiku Abubakar has the dominant political configurations across the regions and party lines.”
While giving his opinion about Fulani to Fulani transfer of presidential power in 2023, the CASGI leader said, “Atiku ethnicity as a Fulani is not a disadvantage but an advantage.”
“The much touted Fulani agenda is not an ethnic affair but a personal issue.
“Atiku is a bridge-builder, who married three wives from the three major tribes in Nigeria, Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa; indicating his indicating detribalised disposition.
“He believes no one particular ethnic group should have the preeminence over others in the Nigerian project.”
He also made mention and lampooned the averment of the Southern Governors Forum, an association which saw the need for for the transfer of power to the southern part of the country in 2023. Okorie described such state as self-serving.
“The Southern Governors Forum is not a political party and they are not masses or the electorates who are the ultimate decider”, he quipped.
On the viral report of the anticipated intention of President Goodluck Jonathan to re-contest, Okorie dismissed it, called it inconsequential.
He even referred to the incumbent Governor of Rivers, who confessed to have worked against Jonathan despite being widely acclaimed and identified as his loyalist.
Earlier in his welcome, the Delta State coordinator of CASGI, Hon. Jeff Ezeagwu, said notable PDP chieftains in Delta State, including billionaire philanthropist, Prince Ned Nwoko are in support of CASGI in Delta State.