Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, warned the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his embittered colleague-governors in the party against their alleged plot to dump him for a rival presidential candidate, saying any such decision would end their political careers.
This is as the five dissenting governors were selected in Abia State Wednesday to participate in the 2022 edition of the Igbo International Christmas Retreat slated to hold in Umuahia, Abia State.
Speaking through one of his campaign spokesman, Senator Dino Melaye, Atiku affirmed that no envy or blackmail will detract him from his aspiration towards winning the presidency next February.
He therefore, warned that, “No blackmail, hate, or outrageous envy will stop Atiku. I pray it is not true (G-5 governors’ imminent endorsement of their preferred candidate). Attacking Atiku will cost them their political future.
“You don’t fight a man, who has done nothing to provoke you. Atiku’s only offence is that he won a presidential primary transparently and openly. No man should play God. It is too late to stop Atiku. They should have a re-think while they can. Atiku will be president because the people have decided.
“My advice to the G-5 is ‘don’t end your political career because of an inordinate ambition and capricious manifestation that will yield no result.’ If they take that step, it will be the last kick of a dying horse.”
Meanwhile, the Igbo International Christmas Retreat slated for Umuahia, is an event organised by the Igbo thunk tank and Nzuko Ndigbo, which is in its fourth edition, themed: “Ndigbo Yesterday Today And Tomorrow” with a sub-theme, “Ndigbo in Geopolitics of Nigeria, The Case of 2023.”
Chairman of the Board of Trustee (BoT), Professor Madubuike Ezeibe, told journalists in Umuahia that the event would be “enriched with timely and educative lectures by sound experts and will be attended by Igbos at home and in diaspora.”
According to him, the event is usually a time for the Igbos to review issues concerning them and have a rethink of the way forward, noting that the G-5 Governors would be at the event to interface and share their vision and mission.
Ezeibe stated that the group’s agenda was “to bring harmony to Igbo land and all other parts of Nigeria in order to achieve peace,” stressing that the search for peace has become imperative given the present situation of Nigeria.
According to him, “So, we are concerned in whatever we can do for peace to remain in the country. In this year’s retreat, we have so many important things to discuss. We are looking for peace in Nigeria, not only in the South East.”
The maiden edition of the Igbo International Christmas Retreat was held in 2016 with the former Abia governor, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu hosting the event.
Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia