By Dennis Agbo
Former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governorship Aspirant in Enugu State, Denge Dr. Josef Umunnakwe Onoh has shed more light on the reason why he is campaigning for the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to become the next President of Nigeria, despite their different political party affiliations.
According to Onoh, his insistence on Tinubu is anchored on the Southern Nigeria leaders, particularly the Southern Governors, which comprised of both PDP and APC governors, who met in Asaba, Enugu, and Lagos, respectively, where they insisted that the next president of Nigeria, come 2023, must emerge from the southern part of Nigeria.
Onoh said that despite his being a member of the PDP, he will vote for all candidates of the PDP, particularly in his home Enugu state, but will not support the party’s presidential candidate because his party, the PDP, chose to select a northern presidential candidate, even when the party’s constitution stipulates that power should oscillate between southern and northern parts of Nigeria.
He also noted that he was oblivious that Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party was from the southeast and holds him in high esteem, but that his reservation for Obi was Obi’s inability to form team players, always believing that he (Obi) is the only one that can salvage the country single-handedly.
Onoh, however, said that Tinubu has a pedigree going for him such as his detribalized nature, none religious extremism, performance in leadership and national political clout which made him foster a coalition of political parties across national divides that formed the APC.
He said he was not moved by emotions or religious sentiments and does not need a political office to make a success; hence he is bold to speak the truth despite who is offended.
“Let me give you a brief fact about Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, hence I’ll sail and sink with his presidential ambition without regret and I urge all sincere well- meaningful southern governors irrespective of party affiliations to stand by Jagaban. Tinubu introduced Digital Economy to governance through Lagos Tax Administration. I believe he can repeat that at the national level. As a Governor, he created 37 Local Government Council Development Areas (LCDAs). This is a major part of the restructuring that many are only clamoring for now.
“He was first to break the master plan machinery of elections rigging in Nigeria thereby helping to reclaim South West states lost mandates from PDP. Tinubu was also the leader who started the Telecommunication revolution in Nigeria through Econet before it became a national success in the telecom sector.
“Tinubu was the first politician to start Economic Summit, and this speaks about the visionary sagacity of the man. He pioneered the Treasury Single Account (TSA). This was later adopted by the Federal Government with much success. He was about to put an end to the electricity problem by starting the Independent Power Project in partnership with Enron in Lagos state. If not for Obasanjo and PDP government that forced him to give up the power to the national grid, there wouldn’t be the problem of electricity in Lagos state by now.
“Bola Tinubu was the first Governor to involve Nigerians from other states to work and become officials of Lagos state government; He was the first and last Governor who governed his state for years without the full Federal Allocation from Abuja. He brought innovation to education when he began to appoint Pupils who excelled academically as Acting Governors of Lagos,” Onoh recalled.
On the issue of the APC Presidential candidate’s age and fitness for office, Onoh said it was ridiculous that inexperienced youths who are taking part in politics for the first time were the champions of the propaganda.
“My position on the issue of age is simple, Ronald Regan wasn’t a young man when he ran for the office of the president of the United States of America, yet he remains one of the greatest US presidents. Ronald Reagan quipped during the 1984 presidential debates when asked if at 73 he is too old to be President and he said, ‘I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience,’ hence Asiwaju or his supporters will not make age or religion an issue of his campaign.”
Onoh stated that when the Southern Governors met and adopted the position of producing a southern as the next president, they were not particular that such a President must emerge from either the PDP or from the APC; must be a Christian or a Muslim, stressing that the southern governors took the decision in the interest of Nigeria.
He said that if the Governors had zoned the Presidency to the North, he would have supported the PDP presidential candidate from Adamawa state, but since Tinubu has emerged in line with the position of the Southern governors, he is bound to abide by the wish of the southern Nigeria leaders. He, therefore, urged all Southern Governors to abide by the decision they took and support Bola Tinubu who is from the Southern part of Nigeria so that they can men of their words.
“I do not have a problem with Atiku, if it was zoned to the north, but I will not support an Atiku presidency because he was not part of the agreement that the southern governors reached. We cannot say that we want to be president and turn around to play second fiddle, to accept the vice presidency. The issue that the southern governors presented for inclusive government are the issues that every southern should be looking at.
“We shall only fault Asiwaju Tinubu if he cannot deliver on the issues. I hold Peter Obi in high esteem and I love his running for the presidency, but the problem I have with him is that he is always self-referral. Okey Ndibe has also made such an observation and Obi has not shown that he can delegate duties to anybody. It has always been I peter Obi did, I peter will do this and that.
“I am still in PDP and I will defend to the end the position of the southern governors in their meetings, particularly the one they held in Enugu. The situation in the country does not require playing along religious lines besides, Tinubu’s liberalism on religion clearly shows his wealth of experience, but any Southern candidate that can deliver on the mandates of the southern governors is more important to me. This is not an anti-party affair but for the greater good of Nigeria”
Onoh also extended regards to the flutist Musician, Tee Mac for clarifying on his previous statement about Tinubu, stating that Tee Mac’s clarification brought out the real man of honour in him.
Culled from Vanguard Newspaper