Vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 elections, Peter Obi, has described allegation by the Northern Youths Leaders Forum (NYLF) that he is anti-north and a major of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as diversionary and “an attempt to give the dog a bad name in order to hang it.”
Dismissing the allegation in a statement issued on Wednesday by his media aide, Valentine Obienyem, Mr Obi described said it is baseless and unfounded.
“The alleged ‘crimes’ exist only in the imagination of those making the ridiculous allegation. Mr Peter Obi is a liberal and patriotic Nigerian who has never at any time conducted himself in a manner to suggest that he is either anti any ethnic group or a sponsor of any secessionist group,” Mr Obienyem said.
He noted: “Immediately the Presidential flag bearer of the PDP, His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, announced the choice of Mr Peter Obi as his running mate, joy was universal, hailing his preference as one of the best news coming out from our fatherland. All those that knew Obi very well for what he did in the past, both in his private business and governance of Anambra State and thereafter, wrote eulogies of him. Researchers went to work. After careful and painstaking analyses of his past, they submitted that he is humble, hardworking, knowledgeable about the economy, aware of the myriad of problems of the country, detribalised and possessed of centripetal notion about the unity of the country. Any person truthful to himself would agree that never in the history of Nigeria did naming of running mates elicited comparable reactions.”
Obienyem pointed out that “since leaving office, Obi has been busy visiting schools all over the country, from Cross River to Sokoto. Obi has been busy diagnosing the problems of the country and offering solutions. Obi has been busy preaching the unity of the country and how good governance will solve the problems in Nigeria, caused by cumulative years of leadership failure that make the protest under review suspicious and, in fact, an attempt to give the dog a bad name in other to hang it.”
Obienyem described the allegation as diversionary, saying: “We do not need such a distraction now. What we need is joining of hands together as we collectively seek solutions to our problems.”
He noted that by advising Atiku to drop Obi and pick a running mate from the south-south, “the NYLF betrayed its real agenda, which is to deny Ndigbo the opportunity to produce Nigeria’s Vice President in 2019.” Obienyem said that the sinister agenda has already failed and urged Nigerians “to continue to give their full support to the Atiku Abubakar/Peter Obi ticket, the only real hope available to Nigerians in the 2019 presidential elections.”
He assured Obi’s fans and supporters that the former Anambra State Governor would continue to live an exemplary life and would never engage in any conduct capable of bringing shame to himself or all those who believe in him and hold him in high esteem.