By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau
As more Nigerian adults declare to run for the exalted position of the Office of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, one of the first persons to throw his hat in the ring and former Spokesman for ex- President Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has withdrawn from the race.
This is even as he has now transferred his full support to another aspirant and former Governor of Anambra state Dr. Peter Obi, saying that he is the most qualified person to tackle the socio-economic problems of Nigeria at the moment.
Okupe who spoke on African Independent Television (AIT) breakfast current affairs programme ‘Kakaaki’ on Monday, said he decided to withdraw from the race and to back Obi’s aspiration to become the next President of Nigeria on the grounds of patriotism.
According to him: “my withdrawal from the race was informed by my conviction that Peter Obi has what it takes to rescue our country from the current security and economic woes bedeviling us. It was also for justice, equity and oneness of Nigeria”.
The qualified Physician turned politician also said Nigeria is at the cross road and every patriotic citizen of the country must consider the unity of Nigeria by supporting power shift to the South and specifically the South East geo-political zone.
Said he: “Let us (Nigerians from six geo-political zones) for once take a bold decision for the survival of Nigeria by supporting power shift to the South East. They have competent persons who will bring Nigeria out of the present predicament”.
Okupe who was Special Assistant (SA) on Media and Publicity to ex- President Olusegun Obasanjo and Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan insists that Peter Obi ranks highest after his assessment of the various aspirants jostling to be the next President of Nigeria in 2023.
“Frankly speaking, at 70 years and with 40 years in active politics, even having the privilege of serving two Presidents, I have not seen anyone better than Peter Obi to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023”.
“Obi towers above every aspirant in terms of academic excellence, practical experience and performance. He has the capacity to hold the high office which requires, among others the ability to solve the economic, political and socio-cultural problems of Nigeria”, Okupe posited.
Speaking further Okupe said: “I use this medium to ask every South Western angling for the Presidency to consider equity, justice and unity of Nigeria to allow South Easterners to produce the next President of Nigeria and that person is Peter Obi”.
“Our country needs a man of proven integrity and capacity to turn things around like Peter Obi who has been on the Board of over 10 multi-national companies quoted in the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)”.
“Let us even keep zoning aside, Peter Obi is a big asset to Nigeria and Nigerians because he is the only former Governor in Nigeria who does not have any case in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after leaving office. It is in the public domain that he left over N75 billion for the next administration in Anambra state after he ended his tenure”, he stated.
Okupe however said: “We should see the 2023 Presidency as a time to bring in a man who has been a political economist, technocrat, administrator par excellence, trader of highest repute, Boardroom player and an intellectually giant who has been to world renowned Business Schools in Britain and United States of America (USA)”.