The February 25 presidential poll will be determined by votes from the Northwest and the Northeast, former Aviation Minister Osita Chidoka said on Sunday.
Chidoka, a former Aviation minister and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the votes from the Southeast and the Southeast, might not make much impact the election.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari, who won elections in 2015 and 2019, did not win in any of the states in the regions.
Osita said the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, a southeasterner, took a good decision for pulling out of the PDP, which he said belongs to the region.
Chidoka, who spoke on Sunday Politics a Channels Television programme, noted that the Ndigbo had invested so much in the PDP to have been denied the presidential ticket.
According to him, the battle was between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP, adding that Obi may not win the election,
Admitting that his party’s candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar may not do well in the Southeast and the Southsouth, Osita said: “Buhari has been president without winning those two regions. And that is what is going to happen in the forthcoming election.
“PDP is going to get considering vote in Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Anambra, Imo, Abia. We are going to come second. Whoever does well in the Northwest and Northeast will win the presidential election.
“What will happen is that the APC is talking about this presidency by the virtue of the fact that they have structures and they are in power.”
On Obi’s emergence, Chidoka said: “Peter Obi is significant player in the game, though this election is between the PDP and the APC
“Peter Obi’s emergence is the challenge we have in Igbo land. There are two opinions in Igbo land. One is that we can go with the Third Force to win the presidency. And I think that is a valid argument.”
However, I am of the opinion that the structure of the two major parties (APC/PDP) offer all the ethnic groups the opportunity of winning the presidency. Once you get the ticket of any of those parties, your pathway to becoming the president of the country is clearer.
“The reason I am of that considered view is that if you look at the considerable investment of the Southeast in the PDP, we are the owners of the PDP. We have given 80 per cent of the vote.
“Now, PDP did not give us the ticket of 2023, I don’t think it is enough reason to throw away that significant investment.
“So, those who said our best bet was to go out of the PDP and align forces with others to get the presidency have a better argument in that.
“And I can say that Obi is doing a great job at that. He is mobilising people across Nigeria.
“But I don’t think that is the Igbo position. For me, the Igbo position is that our significant investment in the PDP for 24 years cannot be thrown away over night.”
He noted that the LP candidate has successfully gotten significant followership, which he can activate in the near future.
“The Igbo’s president”, he noted, “is around the corner.” (The Nation)