Northern leader Alhaji Musa Saidu has warned the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, not to succumb to pressure to drop Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as running mate.
The Coordinator of Arewa Initiative for Peaceful Coexistence in southern Nigeria and Leader of Arewa in the South said if Atiku dared drop Okowa, northerners would vote massively against him.
He claimed that governor Okowa had continued his political efforts throughout the nation without disparaging the north. He added that Okowa had demonstrated his political maturity as a grassroots politician.
“Presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, should not drop governor Ifeanyi Okowa under any threat Okowa is a very cultured man. He has never insulted the north. He has never called the north beggars. Those talking against governor Okowa as running mates lack electoral values. Many of them are cash and carry politicians. “
Speaking further, he urged Igbo leaders who were speaking from Abuja to return to the east to gauge their standing with the Indigenous People of Biafra or IPOB.
”Some Igbo leaders are in Abuja making unpalatable political statements. They should go back home to test their popularity with IPOB to see if they enjoy acceptance among their people. Many of them are political traders. We saw how they voted against their own in presidential primaries of All Progressives Congress, APC and the PDP.
“This is why they will never go home because they know their people already know them as betrayals. We see unknown gunmen beheading politicians in the east and dropping their heads by the roadside. Let these calling themselves leaders go home before Nigerians take them seriously. Yoruba politicians are talking from their base, Lagos, Ibadan and other Yoruba areas, northern politicians are talking from Kaduna and other northern states, but these Igbo politicians are in Abuja talking. Go home to test your popularity with IPOB”, he said.
Alhaji Saidu, who is also the Coordinator and Special Envoy, Ecology and Marine in Africa of the International Human Rights Commission, IHRC, expressed strong worries about the rising index of illegal oil bunkering activities across the Niger Delta region, accusing military men posted to the region of aiding the rise.
He urged the federal government and the military’s top-ranking official to redeploy soldiers who have been stationed in this area for more than a year to the north to address security issues there.
“Illegal bunkering is on the rise. Military men posted here to fight it are not achieving results because they are part of it. Government should redeploy the military men in the Niger Delta to tackle insecurity challenge in the north.”
“The military men are just here doing bunkering. The bunkering they claim to be fighting is on the rise. Military men that were posted out made their way back to the region within three months again. It shows they are the ones aiding bunkering. “
“Bunkering is rising, yet oil production is coming down. We have complained to the federal government and the President. Government should take action.”