Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The presidential ambition of the Labour Party flag bearer, Mr Peter Obi, has continued to receive more endorsements, the latest coming from the Association of Igbo Town Unions (ASITU).
ASITU which met in Umuahia, Abia State, said the decision to endorse Obi came after wider consultations.
National President of ASITU, Chief Emeka Diwe (Eze-Ebube), who announced this said the union should be held responsible if Obi failed to deliver.
The union said that Obi’s antecedents had distinguished him from other contenders, hence the decision of the union to endorse him.
Diwe explained that ASITU deliberately delayed its endorsement of Obi’s candidacy to avoid giving it a tribal colouration.
He hailed all groups and individuals from outside the South-East including former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Yoruba Leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; Pan Niger Delta Development Forum, PANDE, Leader, Chief Edwin Clark; and a host of others that had so far endorsed Obi.
“We are confirming the endorsement of Obi and present him to Nigerians, and say thank you, we shall take responsibility if he fails because his failure means that Igbos have also failed.”
ASITU said Obi’s endorsement by the Town Unions in Igboland came after wide consultations” and leveraging on his acceptance across board in the whole of Nigeria.”
The union in a statements signed by its National President, Chief Emeka Diwe; Hon Chief Gideon Adikwuru; and National Secretary, Ihudike Monday Ikokwu, said Obi would save Nigeria from total collapse.
Other signatories of the state were the President Abia State chapter, Chief (Sir) George U. Mgborukwe; his counterparts in Enugu, and Ebonyi States, Chief Paully Eze; and Ugochukwu Akpa; and Chief Titus Akpudo.
ASITU assured that Obi based on his antecedents, would not disappoint Nigerians, and solicited massive support for him on Saturday.
Describing Obi as “our beloved son” in whom they are well pleased, ASITU called on all those interested in Nigeria’s survival to jettison primordial sentiments and vote for Obi.
The statement read: “Our dear Countrymen, he is our beloved son with whom we are well pleased, we guarantee you that he shall never fail you or disappoint your expectations for a greater Nigeria that beams with endless opportunities.
“We confirm and affirm his endorsement by all Nigerians. Please support him, elect him for he is undiluted representative of Ndigbo.
“We the Igbos take full responsibility for his actions and inactions, as we know he shall surpass all your expectations. We tried him as Governor of Anambra State, he did not disappoint. We appeal to you to give him a chance to pull Nigeria out from the doldrums.
“We can therefore acknowledge without reservation the endorsement of eminent Nigerian Statesmen and Elders, including other Nigerians across ethnic, religious and party lines of Mr. Peter Obi; whom they confirm embodies what Nigeria needs right now to return to the path of sustainable growth and development.
“Notable among these great statesmen, revered Religious Leaders and highly respected Elders are former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Pa Ayo Adebanyo, Chief Edwin Clark, most Northern elders and Nigeria elder statesmen across the country. “Others are the Council of Islamic Shekhs for Good Governance (CISGG) and its affiliate groups; the South Middle Belt Leadership Forum (SMBLF); Yoruba Pan socio-political organisation, Afenifere and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and Pan Niger Delta Forum, Democratic Leadership.
“The Fulani Youths under the aegis of Endan Fulaku, the 19 Northern Youth Leaders, so many other youths groups, market women and students organization too numerous to mention. They have all seen in Mr. Peter Obi the panacea to Nigeria’s numerous ills.”
ASITU said Ndigbo are found in every part of Nigeria doing their businesses, hence, they are the greatest believers in a united Nigeria contrary to wrong perceptions in some quarters.
“The Igbo as you know are “citizens” of every tribe and clime. They live comfortably and invest their all in every Nigerian hamlet and are found in every polling booth. It has therefore not been possible to endorse anyone without regard to critical success factors with regard to good governance, sustainability and inter-generational equity.”
ASITU expressed hope that the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS machine would help checkmate rigging in the forthcoming polls.
It further commended the Independent National Electoral Commission for its spirited efforts to deliver a credible elections in the country.
ASITU renewed its call for the unconditional release of the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as ordered by various courts.
It said that the release of Kanu would help restore peace and security in the South-East, and give the people a sense of belonging.
ASITU appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to heed the clamour for Kanu’s unconditional release in the spirit of peace and national security.