South-East Governors on Saturday expressed shock over Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s choice of Peter Obi as his running mate for the 2019 presidential election.
It was reported that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the zone took same stand.
Their position was made known by the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi.
He, however, said that the Presidential candidate of the Party, Atiku will meet with South East leaders over the choice of his running mate.
He announced this in Enugu while addressing journalists after emergency meeting of the PDP stakeholders in the South East.
According to him, the meeting was to brainstorm on the various news making the rounds in the social media concerning purported choice of the former governor of Anambra state as Atiku’s running mate.
He said both PDP governors in the zone and indeed other stakeholders were shocked over the news of a vice presidential slot given to Ndigbo whereas no former notice to that effect was given.
Umahi revealed that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar sent in message during their meeting informing them that he was out of the country on a short period and pleaded with them to remain calm that he will be coming down to the zone to dialogue with leaders.
“We saw news flying up and down saying that our presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has picked a running mate from the zone.
“We were shocked because we were not consulted. While we were meeting, Atiku sent message that he travelled out of the country for a short period. He promised to come down and meet with South East leaders,” he said.
Similarly, the vice chairman of the PDP, in the South East zone, Augustine Umahi, echoed what the Ebonyi governor said, stressing that leaders of the party in the zone saw the news of Obi’s nomination as running mate in the social media.
“Our leaders are saying that we are not yet aware that such a thing (Obi’s appointment) happened.
“We have gotten in touch him (Atiku), he is traveling tonight and he promised that when comes back we shall meet in that.
“Peter Obi is our son, and from South East, we are not rejecting or accepting him but we are saying is that we are not aware, you cannot shave a man in his absence,” he said.
The meeting was attended by Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Okezie Ikpeazu and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, others were members of the National Assembly from the zone and other major stakeholders.