Southsouth support groups of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have given reasons why Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP are not eligible to be president in 2023.
The groups, from Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta and Edo states, at the weekend converged on Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, for a mini rally in support of Bola Tinubu/Kashim Shettima presidential aspiration.
They said the presidential aspirations of Obi and Atiku were a threat to the unity and peaceful co-existence of the country, adding that the Tinubu/Shettima presidential project would unite the country and bring prosperity for all.
Addressing the rally, Ntufam Eta, chairman, Support Groups Coordination Committee, Southsouth, APC Presidential Campaign Council, said Atiku’s ambition was against the power rotation arrangement between the North and South.
He urged Akwa Ibom people not to vote for Atiku because he was instrumental to the collapse of Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON).
Eta said: “Even if we were to agree that everybody in Nigeria has democratic right to contest elections, Atiku should not have one vote in Akwa Ibom State. The reason is that there is a company that was established in Ikot Abasi, Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON).
“It was built at the cost of $3.5 billion. When Atiku became the chairman of the Privatisation Council, he sold the company to himself and his friends for N180 million. If he had sold it and started production, maybe he would have employed Akwa Ibom people. But do you know what they did?
“What they did was that they removed the equipment, sold them and tarnished the image of that factory. That factory was supposed to employ over 20,000 young men and women. So, Akwa Ibom people, if you are not angry with that, God Himself will be angry with you! You must show your anger! As a grandson, I am very angry because some of my cousins would have been employed there.”
He extolled the virtues of the APC presidential standard-bearer, Asiwaju Tinubu and his running mate, Sen. Shettima, saying their candidature was in the best interest of the region.
“Let me assure all of us here that the Tinubu/Shettima presidential ticket is in the best interest of the Southsouth. We must go back to mobilise our members to vote for APC in the coming elections,” Eta said.
The state Chairman of Coalition of Support Groups in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Patty Inemeh, advised the group to mobilise its members in states to end the domination of PDP in the zone.
He reminded the support groups and members that their job was basically mobilisation and nothing else, urging members to get ready for a mass mobilisation movement that would soon hit local governments, wards and units.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Okon Umana, represented by Dr. Ahmadu Attai, a former state chairman of the party, promised to support the groups in their assignment and task of mass mobilisation.
He hailed the leadership qualities of Tinubu and Shettima, saying they would bring goodwill to the region.
Former Minister for Petroleum Don Etiebet lauded the achievements of Asiwaju Tinubu during his tenure as Lagos State governor, noting that Nigeria needed such experience and expertise “at this time of its socio-economic development.
“I urge you to work for Tinubu/ Shettima presidential ticket because their experience will help Nigeria at this time.”