Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, has responded to his New Nigeria Peoples Party’s counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso, over his statement that northerners will not vote for any presidential aspirant from the South East.
Kwankwaso had earlier in the week claimed that the insecurity and secession agitation in the South East will prevent northerners from voting an Igbo man or woman as president.
“…if anybody from the South East now, under this circumstance, becomes the presidential candidate of our party or any other party, the implication is that, because of the activities (in the region) and many other issues that are real on the ground, northern voters will certainly go for their northern candidate in another party. It is not whether I like it or I don’t like it, the fact remains that he (Obi) will lose and I will lose,” Kwankwaso had said in response to a question on if he’d agree to be Obi’s running mate in the event that the NNPP and Labour enter into an alliance ahead of 2023.
However, Obi, during an interview on Arise TV on Wednesday, punctured Kwankwaso’s claim and attributed such comments by him and some elites to the many challenges facing the country.
Obi’s words: “The comment from my respected elder brother, Kwankwaso, is the reason why we have 100 million Nigerians living in poverty (and) the reason why we have 18 million Nigerian children out of school. It is the reason why we have over 55% of Nigerians on the under or unemployment ladder. It is the reason why Nigeria is unsecured because rather than vote for competence, we choose to vote for incompetence based on a primitive consideration of ethnicity and religion.
“Tell me, today you can’t travel from Abuja to Kaduna by air, road, or train. Is it because somebody from the South-East is in charge? You can’t travel from Abuja to Minna by road. Is it because somebody from the South-East is in charge?
“Yesterday we had an attack on the presidential convoy in Katsina State. Is it because somebody from the South-East is in charge? Show me where you can buy food cheaper, you have uninterrupted electricity or where people are prospering in the North because northerners are in power? In the South West because they are in power? or in the South East.
“What we’ve chosen to do in this country is to consistently hire vehicle drivers to fly the Nigerian airplane instead of hiring qualified pilots. My commitment is, let us campaign and deal with issues of the problem of the country.”