Despite growing for a shift in presidential power to the South, leaders of 17 political parties and other civil society groups have endorsed the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, ahead of 2023 Presidency.
At their inaugural rally in Asaba, Delta State capital at the weekend, the groups under the umbrella of Coalition of Atiku Support Groups Initiative (CASGI) declared that ethnicity or political divide should not determine who should become president of Nigeria in 2023.
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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.”
Reacting to insinuations from political quarters against a Fulani to Fulani transmission 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.”
Comrade Okorie took swipe at the averment of the Southern Governors Forum, who insisted on power shift to Southern Nigeria in 2023, describing the governors position 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 rumoured ambition of immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan to re-contest in 2023, Okorie dismissed the ambition as inconsequential.
He noted that even his most trusted loyalist and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Woke, has said he work against the former president.
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.