A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Raymond Dokpesi, has appealed to the South-East zone to support Alhaji Abubakar Atiku’s presidential ambition in 2023.
Dokpesi, a member of PDP Board of Trustees and media mogul, made the appeal on Monday in Umuahia, while addressing the leadership of Abia PDP on the need for the zone to rally round Atiku.
Atiku was the party’s Presidential Candidate in the 2019 general elections but lost to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Dokpesi gave assurance that Atiku, if elected president, would be in office for only one term of four years and thereafter pave the way for an Igboman to succeed him.
He said that he believed the southeast was competent and qualified to rule the country and denied ever having a contrary opinion as erroneously reported in the media some years ago.
He said that the agitation for a president of Igbo extraction was appropriate, saying that the zone had suffered marginalisation and needed to be given the opportunity.
He said that an Atiku presidency would work to ensure the realisation of the agitation, assuring the people that he (Dokpesi) would stake his life for the project.
He said that it was expedient for PDP’s presidential flag bearer to come from the north in order for the zone to complete its remaining one-term, truncated by the death of President Musa Yar’Adua.
He argued that the north had yet to complete its eight-year tenure in line with PDP zoning arrangement, hence the need for Atiku to be given the presidential ticket.
Dokpesi said that for the avoidance of doubt and fear of possible betrayal, the agreement for Atiku to run one term and handover to the southeast would be documented “in black-and-white”.
He called for greater unity among the members to enable the party to win the Presidency in 2023.
He said that the party owed Nigerians the obligation to continue to show exemplary leadership at the centre.
“Nigeria is at the verge of total collapse and it is a duty we owe to salvage the country from the current economic difficulties and protracted security challenges,” Dokpesi said.
He said that Atiku had the capacity and competence to tackle the nation’s multi-dimensional challenges.
In a response, the Abia PDP Chairman, Chief Allwell Asiforo, said the chapter would take the message home and make its position known at the appropriate time.
Asiforo described Atiku as a great man, who had made huge contribution toward good governance and the growth of democracy in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Atiku was the Vice President under the PDP administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.(NAN)