by Azubuike Azikiwe
The assertion of Alex Ekwueme that President Jonthan may lose the support of the Ndigbo in the presidential election, has been rejected by the South-East leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party and the South-East Governors’ Forum.
In a recent interview, the former Vice President said that Jonathan had taken the South-East geo-political zone for granted in spite of the comprehensive support for him in 2011, while also warning that the president risked losing the support of Ndigbo.
In his reaction, National Vice Chairman of the PDP, Col. Austin Akobundu ( retd.), stated that Ekwueme’s comments did not reflect the realities on the ground, saying that the zone remained a very strong support base of Jonathan and as such, would still give him 100 per cent support as was the case in 2011.
He said: “I have serious respect for Chief Ekwueme but he should realise that the PDP is dynamic and he should not expect the party to still be what he saw in 1998. The South-East is totally behind Jonathan and nothing can change this.”
“Anybody making any prediction to the contrary is out of touch with the realities on ground.The South-East is better off with the PDP than any other party,” Akobundu added.
Similarly, the Chairman of South-East Governor’s Forum and Governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji, said failure for President Jonathan in the zone is not possible “because the people are united in their support for the President.”
Speaking through Abraham Ama, his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Orji said: “It is unfortunate that Ekwueme has lost touch with the realities of the moment.”
According to him, Ekwueme is a man highly respected among Ndigbo, but stated that his predictions about forthcoming presidential election did not reflect the mind of the people.
Orji said that besides Jonathan, no other presidential candidate was popular among Ndigbo, owing to the benefits gotten from his administration.
He said: “The APC here sounds like Boko Haram, and you cannot see any well-meaning Igbo son in the APC. Rochas Okorocha knows he has missed the way, and Ogbonnaya Onu cannot even win in his ward. So, no other party is recognised here.”