Sun, 4 Dec 2022


2023: Okowa has no idea of what capacity is, Obi most qualified for presidency— Datti-Ahmed
By: Cletus Sunday Ilobanafor
Tue, 2 Aug 2022   ||   Nigeria,

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and the vice presidential candidate of Labour Party, LP, Datti Baba-Ahmed, were at each others throat, yesterday, over the purported capacity of the presidential candidate of the party, Peter Obi, to lead the country.

Okowa, who is the vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, spoke in an interview with BBC Pidgin.

But in a swift reaction, Datti-Ahmed said Okowa had no idea what capacity is, adding that Obi remained the most qualified for the Presidency.

Admitting that Obi has experience from being a former governor, he, however, added that it was not “deep” enough to lead Nigeria.

He said: ‘’I did not say he won’t have any votes, he will have. But what I’m saying is that he’s not a new candidate. It has not been long since he left PDP. You know he was in APGA before, from APGA he came to PDP. It hasn’t been long since he left (PDP), so he cannot say anything about PDP because that’s where he was before.

“Some of us are still here. At every party, there are good people and bad people. But today’s Nigeria is very troubled and we need the right person. That is why I am appealing to our youths to be wise and vote well. They should not be blinded by the concept of a false change because that is how they raved on Jonathan in 2015.

“His (Obi) previous experience is not enough for this one (presidency), it will be hard. His experience is not deep enough. Even as a current governor ruling in a time of crisis, I know how hard it is. I even want to learn under Atiku because he has experience with the Federal Government.

“The thing is not easy. For them to have handled the economy at that time and made it something better, offering hope, creating jobs, and filtering the society, was not easy because it’s a bigger thing. So, someone is supposed to learn through that. If you look at Obi’s experience you’ll know it’s small.”

Ön the crisis in the PDP, Okowa said Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, is his friend and that he was making an effort to reach out to him.

He said: “We’ve been talking internally, everything is being settled. You know that when something happens and everybody can’t agree, it’s settled bit by bit. That is what we’re still working on from inside. We are finding a way to talk I’ll say, he is my friend, I am his friend, and we will find a way to talk.

“Atiku has said his version of what happened, and I am sure that version he said is the true position. I am also not saying that Wike is lying, but if someone carries their anger, it is important to air your views. For us in the party, it’s about how to bring everybody together, how all of us can work together.

“Wike is still a very important member of the party, he has worked so hard for the party as many of us have worked hard too. So, we pray that everything comes together and we talk. I’m sure very soon we’ll be sitting down.”

The decision of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP, to name Okowa as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election caused division in the party.

Some party stakeholders, including Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, had expressed concerns over Atiku’s decision to ignore Wike, who was recommended for the position by the party’s national working committee, NWC. Wike placed second in the party’s presidential primary election which took place in May.

But reacting to Okowa’s statement, yesterday, Datti Baba-Ahmed, vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, asked Okowa to retract it.

Baba-Ahmed, who spoke in an interview with Channels Television, said Obi remained the most qualified among the candidates of the four leading candidates vying for the presidency.

He said: “That is absolutely untrue. In fact, I beg you to show me anyone who has had more leadership experience in the 2023 contest. By that contest, I mean the candidates that we have — the four leading candidates.

“I fail to see anyone who even comes close to his excellency, Peter Obi. The world is now at the stage where we need private sector experience and among all of them, no one has much private sector business sense, prudence, frugality, ability to manage persons, communities, interest groups. None of the other three has as much

“That comment is a very unfair, and I will like to think that very soon, the maker of that comment will have to retract because it shows that he has no idea about what capacity is.

“Apparently, we were in the Senate together. We used to sit not too far away. I have a lot of respect for him, but I least expect him to misread what capacity is. When you speak of capacity, you are talking of people like Peter Obi and with all modesty, my humble self.”



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