A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Abia state, Sampson Orji, has declared his support for the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Telescope.ng reports that Orji disclosed this in a statement in Umuahia which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday, October 20.
He stated that his preference for Obi against PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, was based on Obi’s competence.
He further stated that he would mobilise support for the LP candidate “not because he is his fellow Igbo man, but for his antecedent”.
He said: “I’m a PDP man till tomorrow, but I will support Obi, not because he is Igbo but because of what he represents. Obi is a movement. My family and friends will vote for him.
“Atiku is my friend, but Obi is a better candidate. Aside from competence, equity also favours Obi’s candidacy. Southeast is the only zone in southern Nigeria yet to take its turn at the presidency. Why can’t Atiku support Obi, who was his running mate in 2019?
“I must speak the truth: What are we gaining in PDP that for 16 years it was in power, Aba-Port Harcourt expressway is not passable? On a good road, you cannot drive from Umuahia to Ikot Ekpene or Owerri to Umuahia.
“So, it is blindness to tell me to support Atiku, when we have Obi who has shown competence and capacity to take Nigeria out of the woods. Should I work against him because he is Igbo?”
Orji similarly declared support for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate for the Abia South District, Enyinnaya Abaribe.
Abaribe, who aspired for the PDP’s governorship ticket, later defected to APGA, alleging irregularities in the PDP congress.
His major opponent in the election is the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, who is the PDP candidate in the district election.
Orji described Abaribe as too experienced to be sacrificed for Ikpeazu
He stated that Abaribe “had proved his mettle” in the Senate, “considering his antecedent and pedigree as an experienced lawmaker.”
He advised Governor Ikpeazu to step down for Abaribe and “not waste his time and resources.”
Orji, a former commissioner for trade and commerce, argued that “it would be a great disservice to Abia South to replace a champion with a fresher”.
He stated: “Asking me to choose between Ikpeazu and Abaribe is like asking one to choose between experience and the lack of it. Abaribe is too experienced to be replaced with a greenhorn, who would only go there to begin to learn the ropes.
“Abaribe has performed well in the Senate. At a time, he was the only voice not just for PDP or Ndigbo but for Nigeria. He stood against injustice in the Senate. I will tell Ikpeazu to step down for him if I have the opportunity.
“It is not a must that every governor will retire to the senate. I am a Christian, and at my age, if I see what is right and refuse to say it, I wonder if I will say it in the grave.”
Orji tipped the PDP candidate for Abia North District, Mao Ohuabunwa, to defeat Orji Kalu in the senatorial election.
Ohuabunwa is a former House of Representatives member.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia, is running on the APC platform for his second tenure.