BY EMMANUEL MOGBEDE
ABUJA- Mr Osita Okechukwu, Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON) has criticised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubkar, for making false claims about the Feb. 25 presidential poll.
Okechukwu in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said Atiku’s desperation and crass opportunism led to PDP’s defeat at the polls, not Mr Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate as he claimed.
He pleaded with Atiku to retire honourably from active politics, instead of playing the sore loser and sulking publicly with false narratives.
He wondered what the election results would have been if it was mainly between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP.
Okechukwu, who is also a chieftain of the APC, recalled that Atiku at a recent news conference, stated that Obi’s movement to Labour Party took PDP’s votes in South-East and South-South.
He said Atiku, a former Vice-President, allowed his entitlement mentality to becloud his sense of judgment.
He wondered why Atiku wanted to deceive Nigerians with the false narrative that Obi rushed out of PDP, when in actual fact, it was his insistence to contest against the zoning principle that propelled Obi to find an alternative platform.
Okechukwu further recalled how the former Vice-President brought his opportunism to APC to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari for the party’s presidential ticket in 2014 on the patriotic premise of rotation convention.
”Now, for Atiku to play the blame game by bellyaching against Mr Peter Obi of Labour Party who turned out as hero of 2023 presidential election, is quite distressing.
”How can Atiku claim that Obi was scared out by PDP Governors.
“When it was public knowledge that his huge war-chest and competition with Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers that made PDP’s primary too contentious and corrupt for Obi.
”It was actually Atiku’s opportunism that eclipsed the PDP and halted Obi’s hurricane, the simple truth is that Atiku Abubukar’s opportunism eclipsed the PDP, ” Okechukwu said.
”Here was a man who in 2014 defected to APC, on the patriotic premise that the then president, Goodluck Jonathan, breached the rotation convention between North and South.
”Today, he violently breached the same rotation convention and the constitution of his party with lamentation outcome,” the VON DG said.
According to him, Atiku has not said the real reason behind Obi’s exit from the PDP as he has contradicted his media aides.
He, therefore, challenged Atiku to come clean on whether Obi was truly scared off by PDP governors or as first narrated by his team that he wanted to back Obi, but for Gov. Nyemson Wike’s intransigence.
Okechukwu recalled how in an attempt to defend his breach of rotation convention, Atiku’s team serially argued that he wanted to support Obi, but changed his mind when he learnt that Wike was against micro-zoning the presidency to the South-East.
”We have heard from the horse’s mouth, it is a crystal case of opportunism that drove the Waziri Adamawa into presidential race,” he said.
He added that with the outcome of the Feb. 25 presidential election, Atiku had not only buried the PDP, but also halted Obi’s hurricane that could have extended to the far North.
He said the cardinal question was why Atiku didn’t deploy his huge war-chest to back Obi ahead of the presidential election.(NAN)