By Clifford Ndujihe
MAJORITY of South-East and Igbo votes may not go to President Goodluck Jonathan in the February 14 presidential polls contrary to expectations unless the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) takes the complaints of the zone seriously, Founder of the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) and Deputy Secretary of the Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT), Evangelist Elliot Uko, has said.
To make amends and continue to enjoy the support of the Igbo, Uko urged President Jonathan to unveil his plans and blueprint and what he had done for the zone in the last six years.
In an interview with Vanguard, Uko said the polls would be fierce but assured that ‘’This time around, Ndigbo will vote right, we have learned painfully over the years that if we vote right, it will be well for everybody. Ndigbo do not want to make mistakes any more.’’
Asked if Ndigbo might abandon Jonathan this time, he said: ”I can’t say that, but I know that Ndigbo are angry with Jonathan. They think he is held hostage by a cabal. They wonder if it makes sense to put Nigeria in the hands of a man who is held prisoner and is easily manipulated by his aides.
” They say his presidency costs Ndigbo a lot as most Nigerians see him as using Ndigbo’s turn, they are also angry with his aides who lie a lot both to Ndigbo and to the man himself. Most of these very respectable individuals and credible groups from the Southeast, tell me they think Jonathan is taking Ndigbo for a ride. The characters who have convinced him that they will deliver Igbo land to him 100 per cent are the ones who might bring him down. While the APC is working hard on the Southeast, the PDP is busy boasting of easy victory.
”This might end up a very tough contest. These Igbo groups who tell me they will not support Jonathan again are not agents of APC, they are traditional Jonathan supporters who feel aggrieved at the way the PDP is behaving. They know Jonathan means well, they know he is a Godly man but they believe he trusts his aides too much and they have blocked him away from reality.
”Whether these accusations are true or not I don’t really know. People are also angry at the stupendous empowerment of ex-militants’ leaders who have all become emergency billionaires, they are all said to be acquiring estates overseas in order to become political god fathers.
”If these allegations are true, then, it is very wrong. Our people are asking, what are the score cards? They are wondering about whatever happened to the promised coal-powered power plants, 2nd Niger bridge, Onitsha sea port, Oguta seaport, Aba inland container terminal, etc.
”E’verybody knows that the 45 million Ndigbo can save him with their bloc votes or bring him down when Igbo votes are split. The clowns who are Jonathan’s arrowhead in Igboland are busy offending everybody by their arrogance which clearly stems from over-confidence while politicians are busy trading off Ndigbo for their personal deals as everybody is positioning for a slice of the cake. All these mean that the PDP must not take Igboland for granted. The election is just six weeks away and there is so much anger.
”Ndigbo want some respect and dignity. The people deceiving Jonathan in Abuja cannot deliver Igboland to him as they claim, they don’t have the credibility to be followed sheepishly, moreover Ndigbo want to see Jonathan’s blue print to move Nigeria forward. People want to know his agenda for the next dispensation.’’