A chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Hon. Okechukwu Emereonye has warned parties not to joke with the endorsement of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi by erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo.
According to Emereonye, any party that does not take the endorsement very seriously and work to stop it from coming to pass will be doing so at its own peril.
Fielding questions from newsmen at his office in Owerri, Imo State on Saturday, Emereonye, who is the party’s Chairman, Board of Trustee (BoT), United Kingdom Chapter noted that all those endorsed in the past by Obasanjo eventually clinched the presidential diadem.
He reeled out the candidates who received Obasanjo’s blessings and later swept the presidential poll to include Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
Emereonye, who is also a member of the BoT of the party in Nigeria noted that though the endorsement could be seen as Obasanjo’s personal preference, the success of his past endorsements should make parties to sit up.
The APGA chieftain submitted that he would be happy if Obi emerges the next president, pointing out that besides being qualified and competent, Obi’s emergence will enthrone fairness, equity and justice in the polity.
The 2019 APGA candidate for Aboh Mbaise/Ngor/Okpala Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives picked holes with the endorsement of Imo State governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma for a second term by stakeholders.
Emereonye said it was wrong of the stakeholders to endorse the governor when he was yet to deliver the goods in his first term in office.
According to him, Gov Uzodimma has not been able to secure lives and property as well as provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the state.
He said; “Endorsement should be on merit. You live here. Let me ask you; Do you think his endorsement has merit? There are two key areas of governance. One is security of lives and property and provision of an enabling environment. Has he delivered on any of the two?
“The endorsers are my elders, but overtime these names have been on the saddle of leadership in Imo State and I can tell you we have not seen much. The little I know about our leaders is that some of them don’t like saying the truth.
“If I ask you to go to Orlu zone now, will you? You are in Owerri now, If I ask you to go outside the metropolis, you will start feeling reluctant. This is because you are not feeling safe.’
Emereonye asserted that the absence of justice is reason for the general insecurity in the country.
He noted that security agencies hunted and hounded Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu for agitating for self-determination for their people but have allowed AK47 wielding killer-Fulani herdsmen, bandits and Boko Haram terrorists to roam the streets wreaking havoc unchallenged.
Hear him; “First, where there is no justice, there is no peace. Sunday Ogboho agitated for Oduduwa Republic, He was chased out of the country like a rat. Nnamdi Kanu was agitating for Biafra. He was chased and today he is cooling off in the gulag of the DSS.
“But some people are brandishing AK 47, and I have not seen any Boko Haram terrorist brought to court. Somebody is even negotiating with terrorists. Oil bunkering is being done and nothing happens”.
Emereonye said in a sane country, the All Progressives Congress (APC) will be ashamed to campaign for votes having messed up the country in the last seven years it has held the levers of power.
He said; “APC promised change, but gave us chain. I am sorry no matter your position in government presently, you should be ashamed to campaign for APC. The party has messed up the economy. When it came to power, Naira was about 150 per dollar, today, it is 700/dollar, one pound is N900. If we don’t vote right this year, what we are seeing now will be a child’s play”.