January 4, 2023
The Peoples Democratic Party has said that the endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, by an elder statesman, and leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clark, on Tuesday has further confirmed that the party must reconcile with the five aggrieved governors.
The party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said this in an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday while reacting to the endorsement by Clark.
Clark had announced the endorsement at a press conference in Abuja barely 48 hours after a similar endorsement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He said it was only fair and just that the South produced the next president after eight years of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
He disclosed that he had earlier directed the national leadership of the Pan Niger Delta Forum to meet with Obi in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on December 23, 2022.
He said after being briefed on the successful outcome of the interaction; he had taken note of some observations which led to the endorsement.
Clark said, “Considering all these factors, and putting His Excellency Peter Obi side-by-side with all other candidates being presented by other political parties, I am convinced beyond doubt, that our country Nigeria has a great opportunity to elect a phenomenal team, the candidate of the Labour Party, and his Deputy, Senator Datti Baba-Ahmad, as President and Vice President respectively.
“I formally hereby announce that I will, therefore, personally, vote for Peter Obi and his vice-presidential candidate on election day, February 25, 2023, as President and Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The PDP’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Abdullahi, said the party must reconcile with the aggrieved governors.
He said, “We must able to put our house in order in the days ahead, and the first step is to rekindle our relationship with the five governors. If it happens in our favour, I will be the happiest person.
“If Peter Obi is getting this endorsement from first a former president that has been the most celebrated and the most relevant former president living, and is corroborated by another leader from the South-South who is believed to be the president of the South-South Forum, then it is going to confirm to you that Peter Obi might be the surprise that this country is waiting to receive because clearly, it is looking like we must go to the second ballot and that second ballot is going to determine what will happen.
“The endorsement of Peter Obi by Chief Edwin Clark is a confirmation of the strength of the impact that Peter Obi is making with his presidential bid. It is a confirmation that we might be heading to what we call political Armageddon of some sort.”
Ortom backs Obasanjo
Meanwhile, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, also on Tuesday backed Obasanjo’s endorsement of Obi.
In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Terver Akase, titled ‘Governor Ortom backs Obasanjo’s endorsement of Peter Obi,’ the governor noted that the former president was right in his choice of Obi as the right candidate to win the election and provide the leadership that Nigerians desire.
Ortom said if he was not a member of the PDP, PDP, he would have personally led Obi’s campaign across the country.
The statement read, “He (Ortom) is convinced that Obi possesses the qualities of a leader who will be a true President of this country by guaranteeing justice, equity and fairness for all Nigerians.
“He says the President that Nigeria needs at this challenging time in the country’s history should be the one that understands the urgent need to unite the people and speedily initiate policies and actions to redirect the ship of the nation on the path of growth and development, and emphasises that Peter Obi has all such qualities.”