Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The presidential bid of the Labour Party presidential flag bearer, Mr Peter Obi, has received a major boost following the endorsement of his candidature by a Board of Trustees, BoT, member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Prince Benjamin Apugo.
Apugo said Obi’s antecedents had left no one in doubt that if given an opportunity, he would fix Nigeria and make it a better place for all.
According to Apugo, Obi simply stands tall above other presidential candidates.
The APC chieftain who addressed newsmen in Umuahia, Abia State, also endorsed the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Dr Alex Otti, saying he has the capacity and connection to re-build Abia.
He said that Abia had been so unfortunate to have a good leader, and expressed optimism that if given the opportunity, Otti would engender a new Abia.
The APC chieftain denied endorsing the Abia APC governorship candidate, Chief Ikechi Emenike, and urged members of the public to disregard any rumour to that effect.
He said he had not seen any reason to support Emenike’s governorship ambition when he had identified a man with the needed capacity to rebuild Abia.
Apugo accused the APC-led Federal Government of neglecting Abia State, saying there is no federal presence in the state.
He also said that the APC had not done much for Ndigbo, and urged voters to vote based on the competence and integrity of candidates and not for party logo in the forthcoming polls.
Apugo lampooned Igbo political elite criticising Obi, dismissing them as myopic and self -centered saboteurs.
He urged Ndigbo not to be discouraged because of such unpatriotic elements who he said could rarely visit their communities.
Apugo said that such people had lost relevance in their home towns and were only trying to use Obi to gain cheap popularity.
According to him, Obi’s presidential ambition and candidature have brought respect and honour to the Igbo race.
He recalled that this would be the first time Nigerians from different ethnic, religious and political backgrounds would be rallying behind a presidential candidate of South-East extraction.
Apugo urged Ndigbo home and abroad to come out en mass and vote for credible candidates of their choice in the forthcoming elections.
He said that those hoping to rig the polls would have to think of something else, insisting that the era of manipulating election results was over.
Apugo expressed optimism that the forthcoming polls would give birth to a new Nigeria where merit and competence would count.
He urged Ndigbo to suspend their businesses and collect their Permanent Voter’s Cards, PVCs, before the January 29 deadline for its collection.