A ranking member of All Progressives Congress (APC), Osita Okechukwu, has accused the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, of eclipsing the party with his “desperation and crass opportunism”.
Okechukwu stated this in response to Atiku’s claim that his opponent in the presidential poll, Peter Obi, was in a rush to be president and took the votes in South East and South South which would have gone to the PDP.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Sunday, Okechukwu said Atiku allowed his entitlement mentality to becloud his sense of judgment.
He wondered why Atiku wanted to deceive Nigerians with the false narrative that Obi rushed out of PDP when in actual fact it was Atiku’s insistence to contest against the zoning principle that propelled Obi to find an alternative platform.
Okechukwu, who is a foundation member of APC, recalled how the former Vice President brought his opportunism to APC to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari for the APC presidential ticket in 2014 on the patriotic premise of rotation convention.
”Now, for Atiku to play the blame game by bellyaching against Mr Peter Obi, who turned out as hero of 2023 presidential election, is quite distressing.
”How can Atiku claim that Obi was scared out by PDP Governors when it was public knowledge that his huge war chest and competition with Nyesom Wike made PDP’s primary too contentious and corrupt for Mr Peter Obi?
”It was actually Atiku’s opportunism that eclipsed the PDP and halted Obi’s hurricane. The simple truth is that His Excellency, Atiku Abubukar’s opportunism eclipsed the PDP,” he said.
Okechukwu pleaded with Atiku to retire honourably from active politics instead of playing the sore loser and sulking publicly with false narratives.
He added: ”Here was a man who in 2014 defected to APC, on the patriotic premise that the then president, Goodluck Jonathan breached the rotation convention between north and south.
”Today, he violently breached the same rotation convention and the constitution of his party with lamentation outcome.”
Accusing Atiku of telling inconvenient lies about the real reason behind Obi’s exit from PDP, Okechukwu, who is also the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), said the former Vice President contradicted his media aides.
He, therefore, challenged Atiku to come clean on whether Obi was truly scared off by PDP governors or as first narrated by Atiku’s team that he wanted to back Obi, but for Wike’s intransigence.
Okechukwu said Nigerians still remember how, in an attempt to defend Atiku’s brazen breach of rotation convention, Atiku’s team serially argued that he wanted to support Obi, but changed his mind when he learnt that Wike was against micro-zoning to the South East.
”We have heard from the horse’s mouth. It is a crystal case of opportunism that drove the Waziri Adamawa into presidential race.
”Now, this mindless opportunism has not only buried the PDP but also halted Obi’s hurricane that could have extended to far north.
“The cardinal question is why didn’t Atiku deploy his huge war chest to back Obi? How on earth did he expect Obi to be a perpetual running mate to him, even when he had approached Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to drop his presidential ambition to run with him? Opportunism is the answer,” the DG VON asserted.