The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has called on the south-east leaders to support Peter Obi as the vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections.
It was understood that both men were the considered favourites of Atiku Abubakar before Obi eventually got the position.
In the interim, political bigwigs from the south-east comprising the PDP governors, national assembly caucus and other party leaders deliberated in a meeting on Saturday about the fact they were not consulted over the choice of Obi.
A source who was present at the meeting explained Ekweremadu implored the angered leaders to exercise calm and rally support behind Obi, who seems to enjoy more support from other zones than the south-east.
A party leader said, “Ekweremadu reminded us that the major task now is to get the PDP back to power and save the country from its downward spiral.
“He even joked that it wouldn’t matter if Atiku picked a northerner as his running mate, as long as it would get the repressive government of Buhari out of power”.
Although the meeting was convened with the agenda of rejecting Obi’s nomination, the south-east leaders were reportedly shocked by Ekweremadu’s position.
“You cannot weep more than the bereaved. We thought we were fighting for him, but he said we should allow Obi to be. We were shocked by his sportsmanship,” the insider said.
It was alleged Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, backed Obi in order to spite south-east leaders for not supporting his candidate, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, for the presidential ticket.
The south-east reportedly voted en masse for Atiku at the PDP convention.
The south-east leaders preferred Ekweremadu because of his broad-based experience as a former council chairman, former secretary to the government of Enugu state, and two-term deputy senate president.
The geopolitical zone’s leaders are expected to make their grievances known to Atiku at a meeting scheduled for the week.