A member of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Presidential Campaign Council and spokesman of the council in the southeast, Dr. Josef Onoh has restated that the best option for the people of the southeast in the coming 2023 election would be to vote for the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Onoh advised the people of the southeast that it will not help the region, becoming emotionally attached to the Labour party; a political party he disclosed has little or no candidates to canvass votes for the party in 20 states of the federation.
He noted that even though the quest for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction is what every Igbo is passionate about, not necessarily because it will enthrone the best President Nigeria will ever produce, but because the Igbo presume it would give them some sense of belonging in Nigeria.
But he advised that the passion and emotion of the people of the southeast would amount to nothing if they fail to make an informed decision at the moment to support the most prospective presidential candidate whom he said was Bola Tinubu of the APC.
In an interview with newsmen in Enugu, Onoh disclosed that from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) data, the Labour Party has no candidates for the National Assembly elections in prominent states that hold the ace when it comes to actual vote counts in the determination of election victories.
Such states he said include Lagos, Katsina, Kebbi, Borno, Ekiti, Jigawa, Ondo, Yobe, Delta, Bayelsa, Sokoto, Kogi, Niger, Cross River, Zamfara and Bauchi where he disclosed that the Labour Party either has no National Assembly candidate at all or have just one for either Senate or in the House of Representatives.
“What the statistics is saying is that out of 469 federal constituencies in Nigeria, the Labour Party where the people of the southeast have decided to rest most of their faith has no sufficient or even representative at all in these 20 states spread across the northern and southern divides of the country. For instance, The Labour Party has no single candidate for the House of Representatives positions in Borno that has nine seats, Ekiti with six seats, in Katsina that has13 seats, in Kebbi with eight seats, Lagos with 24 seats and Ondo with nine seats. The labour party has nobody to campaign for them in these critical states.
“Now, Ndigbo are people with abundant intellect and cannot be found wanting when it comes to a simple calculation such as in the 2023 presidential election. They don’t need a soothsayer to make the 2023 divination for them and have never been known for taking the risk of putting all their eggs in one basket. In practical terms, the Igbo will find it extremely difficult to actualize their dream in 2023 with the labour party and if that is the case, what option do we have?
“If we are all in an agreement that after President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight years, a southern should succeed him, then we should be looking at the most viable southern presidential candidate, who is not only a southerner but the candidate of a ruling party and he is no other person than Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“The Igbo as good tacticians cannot dwell in lamentations beyond 53 years and that is the reason they have spread their tentacles to ensure that the people are not made exclusive to one man’s ambition, but for the interest of the region whose tradition forbids them from watching from one spot position the masquerade perform in the arena. The Igbo usually move around when a particular position or point of view becomes a subject of scrutiny.
“The Igbo cannot continue with the cry of marginalization in the Buhari government and will not do something strategic that will make them become inclusive in the next eight years of administration. I am of the opinion that what Ndigbo need is to rally around a candidate of southern extraction with the most potential of becoming the next president of Nigeria.
“It’s only Tinubu’s party, the APC, which can boast of the most prominent spread in the entire country with candidates filled for every position being contested for in the 2023 elections, particularly the national Assembly elections that will be contested for on the same day as the presidential election. Even in some cases where the labour party fielded legislative positions, they were based on sympathy and sentiments which are not tools for contesting elections. Those candidates of the labour party are breakaway candidates who for reasons of deficiency were not able to remain in their former political parties,” Onoh said.
He stated that as wise as the Igbo are, they were aware that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the next President of Nigeria which he said has brought about a mass movement into the Tinubu presidential campaign in the southeast, stressing that an Igbo adage said that one who refused to get on board should not complain that he was left behind by the train.
“On the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the five Governors of the party are about to get the sixth one because of the inability of the party’s presidential candidate to manage the party’s remaining past glory. What it translates to is the stark reality that their presidential candidate would be unable to unify the nation since he cannot hold party members together.
“The five or six Governors have no option than to join hands to deliver Asiwaju because they can’t experiment with the neophyte Labour Party with the little resources at their individual disposals and with which they hope to use and deliver their candidates in their respective states.
“My advice for Ohanaeze Ndigbo is to follow Asiwaju who is the Google map towards the Igbo inclusion in the federal government. They should not make themselves subject of ridicule again but be strategic in their 2023 decision,” Onoh said.
He said that it was sad that notable politicians from the southeast who have benefited much from the APC government were not campaigning for Tinubu except for Senator Chimaroke Nnamani and Governors Hope Uzodinma of Imo state and Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state.