A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwumeka Eze, has said the emergence of Senator Ali Ndume as the Presidential Campaign Director of the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is the product of a tactical political engineering and an obvious pace-setter in the race for 2023.
In a statement made available to media houses in the country’s capital, Chief Eze said that given his resilience, foresight, doggedness and other distinguishing characteristics exhibited towards the Amaechi project, the Federal Lawmaker represents a comprehensive blend of pure leadership recipe for success in every assigned project.
The party Chief emphasised that Ndume’s emergence was a pacesetter and after he was appointed Amaechi’s Campaign Chief, others gunning for the Presidency started shopping for and appointing people to lead their teams, and that points to the fact that the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi is well kitted and very much prepared for the task.
Eze said the result of feelers from the Consultative Tours and other strategic engagements of the Minister and his team directed by Sen. Ndume has shown that the Borno South Senator is versed in the business of politics and has got the right keys needed to unlock the path to Aso Rock and solve the development puzzle of Nigeria.
Ndume, the Gwoza-born senate Committee Chair on Army, is schooled in political battles and victories, is very conversant with the politics of Nigeria and has shown patriotic credentials, especially when he pointedly told the Senate President, Lawan, that it will be unjust for him or another Northerner to think of contesting the 2023 general elections as a President. Such a statement can only be credited to a bold, egalitarian, patriotic leader.
Recounting what the Northern region stands to benefit from Amaechi’s Presidency, Senator Ali Ndume told his people that the Northern region of Nigeria has more to gain from a Southern Presidency, which he described as “inevitable”.
Featuring as a guest on Channels Television’s programme, ‘Politics Today’, Ndume, who is a former leader of the Northern Caucus of the All Progressives Congress, insisted that the ruling party must zone its 2023 Presidency to the Southern region comprising the South-West, South-East and South-South geopolitical zones.
Eze quoted Ndume, “I am a Nigerian, from the north, and I believe in justice, equity and fairness. What Akeredolu said is my advice to the party. Even if they delayed it a bit, it doesn’t change the position; it is inevitable because the national chairman, in principle, not in writing, was agreed from the north after the south had been the chairman. And as you can see, nobody contested the chairmanship of the APC from the south.
“In 2015, when it was also agreed in principle that the presidency should come from the north, nobody from the South-West, South-South went into the contest. It’s not because there were no capable hands here, but (it was) based on this principle. So, this time around, I don’t think that should change.
“The principle of federal character is a constitutional matter. Federal character is more encompassing than zoning; you zone based on federal character.
“If APC zones it and it should zone it to the south, then other parties can zone it to wherever they want, and it is Nigerians would choose whoever they want.
“Personally, I feel we will be better of with a President coming from the South. The current President comes from the North, and if you look at it analytically, the South benefited more. So, if the President comes from the South, we (the North) will benefit more, just as we did previously under (then President Goodluck) Jonathan.”
Senator Ndume knowing the lean purse of Amaechi, singlehandedly mobilised friends and associates to raise funds for the procurement of the APC Presidential Nomination form; this again singles him out as a man demonstrating leadership.
In all the visits to the Obas, Traditional Rulers, Delegates, Opinion leaders, and Stakeholders, Eze said it had been encomiums on Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and approvals for his Nigerian project for 2023.
Eze expressed happiness that with the drafting of the former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Brutal, Senator Nurudeen Obateem, Hon Nasiru Ajanah, Mr Suliman, the former IGP and other great strategists like Dr Dakuku Peterside, Senator Andrew Uchendu, Prince Tonye Princewill, Hon. Aso Wenah will help Senator Aliyu Ndume in this onerous task, coupled with the massive goodwill and support pledged by the party leadership in over 30 States he has visited so far. The road to Aso Rock seems to be clearer and better daily.
Eze wept for joy after reading from The Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule. Read what this foresighted leader said when Amaechi visited his State, “Amaechi, your boss, your friend, the man you love, President Muhammadu Buhari, has the final say. This is the man we all respect and believe in; where he goes is where we go. No governor can do otherwise,”
But listen to his further revelation: “But more than you can sell yourself, the team following you is intimidating. The team is a selling point. My dear brother, General Yusuf Buratai, does not follow people around. I know he must have heard something that l don’t know: his excellency, Amb. Yusuf Tugar is not known to follow people just like that. I’m ready to follow these your delegates.”
For the avoidance of doubt, Eze postulated that with the results so far gotten out of this tout, the dream of Nigerians to have a better, agile and well equipped President to restore the dignity of our place in the comity of nations seems to be realisable very soon.
For those who are still in doubt about the prospects of Amaechi in this struggle, let me bring in the encouraging report by a good friend, Mr Michael Jegede, in his report containing events of the few weeks of Amaechi’s consultative tour:
“Better placed as the bridge between the young and old generations, the 56-years-old ex-Rivers governor has, within the last two to three weeks, showed great vim, energy and strength as he moved with high speed from Delta to Rivers, Cross River, Edo, Bayelsa, having earlier covered the entire states in the South-West and South-East. His train moved progressively to Kaduna last Sunday, from where it headed to Adamawa, Nasarawa, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, FCT, Niger, Benue and Plateau between Monday and Thursday.
The acceptability of the Ikwerre-born consummate grassroots politician, a pragmatic and visionary leader, highly respected for his courage, doggedness and strength of character, could be seen from the level of support he is getting from the delegates.
For instance, in Taraba State, convinced that Nigerians would be the ultimate beneficiary of Amaechi’s stewardship, the APC delegates there vowed to give him at least 90 per cent of their votes on the convention day.
In Kaduna, the delegates were touched after listening to the testimony of their governor, Nasir El-Rufai, about the character and person of the former Transportation Minister and immediately endorsed him as their preferred choice.
While in Adamawa State, where he equally got the assurances of party delegates, the Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapha, gave Amaechi his blessing and prayed for his emergence as Nigeria’s President in 2023. The monarch believed that with what he did in his eight years as Rivers helmsman, Nigerians would enjoy the true dividends of democratic governance under his leadership as president.
The Chairman, Bayelsa State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Bubaraye Agada the 10th, was highly elated to receive Amaechi in Yenagoa during his visit to the state to interface with delegates.
He said: “We are delighted to have you; you are an aspirant who has come to do the needful.
“You are our son; I have never seen a resume or profile of your type; being two-time Speaker, two-time Governor and two-time Minister, we must give you the needed support.”
Governor Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa State, likewise an APC presidential aspirant, tacitly stepped down for Amaechi when he visited the state to engage the delegates.
According to Badaru, “One thing I respect about my big brother and friend (Amaechi) is that what you see is what you get. He doesn’t lie; he doesn’t pretend. He says it straight, and that’s the quality of leaders this country needs.
“So Jigawa delegates, when you think of me, think of Amaechi because we are the children of President Buhari, so on that day, it’s either I run, or he runs, but for sure, I cannot run against him.”
In Plateau, the delegates, in accord with their governor, Simon Lalong, unanimously adopted Amaechi as their sole candidate while revealing that he was the first APC presidential aspirant to visit the state ahead of the convention.
The story is the same from state to state. The majority of the delegates are at home with Amaechi and are determined to gladly give him their votes at the forthcoming APC convention. They are of the notion that the vast experience he has garnered in governance, having been privileged to have consistently remained in the corridors of power since 1999, will stand him in good stead to perform as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Like many other well-meaning Nigerians, the delegates see Amaechi as the most qualified, competent and suitable candidate for the Presidency among those aspiring to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023”.
Eze finally highlighted that he is full of hope that Senator Ndume and his Team will surely deliver accordingly. Coupled with the feats of Amaechi during his period as Governor of Rivers State and now Minister of Decade, Nigeria is sure to witness a rapid turnaround in all spheres under an Amaechi presidency.
Amaechi has demonstrated that he is a visionary leader and has outlined his critical plans for the country, including eradicating insecurity in Nigeria.
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