Former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, is intensifying his efforts to secure the buy-in of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders in his aspiration to fly the party’s flag in the 2023 presidential election.
The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) declared his intention to vie for the party’s presidential ticket during the PDP national convention in Abuja on Saturday, October 30.
Anyim, who made the declaration in a chat with journalists said he would contest for the Presidency in 2023 whether PDP zones it to the Southeast or not.
The former Senate President, who said the national convention signaled the commencement of political activities in the party, added that it was an opportune time to indicate interest.
“We presently have less than 18 months to the next elections and I feel the time was ripe to indicate my interest.”
Since then, Anyim has been travelling around the country, meeting with stakeholders.
In furtherance of the quest, he will meet with Southeast PDP leaders in Enugu on Thursday to formally tell them of his aspiration.
The meeting is scheduled to hold at Best Western Plus, Independence Layout, Enugu.
In the letter inviting the PDP zonal leaders to the meeting, Anyim said the goal was to apprise them of his efforts so far and to exchange ideas on strategies.
Titled, “Invitation to a zonal briefing session on recent political developments,” the invite which he personally signed, reads: “The Igbo nation has for a long time now sought full reintegration in Nigeria. By the grace of God, through our collective and individual hard work; and the goodwill of other Nigerians, we have largely established ourselves in every part of the country.
“We also participate significantly in the development of virtually every other community in Nigeria. Nevertheless, it is commonly agreed that our reintegration and sense of belonging in Nigeria will remain incomplete until we, like other Nigerians, are entrusted with the responsibility and challenges of executive leadership of the country.
“In October this year, I declared my interest to contest for the Presidency in 2023 under the auspices of the Peoples Democratic Party. I have since started consulting with various leaders and interests within the party and across the country.
“I now deem it appropriate to apprise you of my efforts so far, and for us to exchange ideas on the strategies that we should deploy as we continue to persuade the rest of the country to agree with us.”
Since declaring his interest, Anyim has consulted with former military leaders, Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, who spoke positively of his sterling leadership qualities.
Various groups across the country, including the Arewa Concerned Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria (ACCSON), a coalition of over 30 Northern civil society organisations and youth groups, have also endorsed his ambition.
Last week, former President of the Senate, Chief Adolphus Wabara, and some political leaders in the South East also expressed unflinching support for his presidential ambition.
On December 16, the Emir of Lafia, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Hon Sidi Bage, recommended Anyim as a capable hand to solve the problems of Nigeria.
Justice Bage, who spoke at the Awards/Honours Symposium organized by The Nigerian News to mark the 5th anniversary of the media outfit, said after listening to the former Senate President’s speech at an award ceremony in Lagos recently, he was left with no doubt that Anyim understood the problems of Nigeria and was capable of fixing them.
The reverred monarch described Anyim as a Nostradamus who has seen and understood where Nigeria should be in future.
“He knows what Nigeria should be today and tomorrow. Let all Nigerians read that speech.
“He (Anyim) made me believe that we still have leaders into whose hands we can entrust Nigeria,” he said.
In an exclusive interview with TheNiche in November, Anyim said his presidential aspiration was accepted across Nigeria.
“I decided to contest the 2023 presidential election because I am a Nigerian politician who has been in government and who understands what the problems are and so can find solutions to them. I am also that Nigerian Politician that is at home in every part of the country – North, East, West and South,” he said.
“I aspire to be president of Nigeria because I believe that by my experience, what I know about Nigeria, my very deep knowledge of the country, I will be able to run an inclusive government that will build consensus, restore peace, refocus Nigeria and make the country a place that all of us will be proud of.
“So, I believe that the challenges of today are actually a matter of leadership and I will provide that leadership. I will give every segment of this country comfort. I will provide a leadership that will understand how to wield our diversities into an asset.
“I think that management of our diversities is actually central to the success of the country and I have interacted with various segments of the country. I have participated in running government that affected every part of the country and I know the needs of our diverse groups and I know how to put it together and do a policy thrust that will build a Nigeria of our dream.”