I would have loved to see Obi pairing again with Atiku – Ochulor, ex-Delta State MILAD –

I would have loved to see Obi pairing again with Atiku – Ochulor, ex-Delta State MILAD – The Sun Nigeria

From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri

Former military administrator of Delta State, Air Commodore Luke Ochulor (rtd) has advised stakeholders in the Southeast to chose a consensus candidate and stand by him, or else the zone may lose to the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) candidate in the forthcoming presidential election in 2023, pointing out that Atiku Abubakar has a better chance to clinch victory ahead of the ruling party’s candidate, Bola Tinubu.

He, therefore, said that Peter Obi, could spring a surprise from his Labour Party (LP) if Nigerians are politically conscious and the politically parties narrowed to three. Excerpts:

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What is the next step for the Southeast, it’s glaring that the major parties are not adhering to the princple of zoning with PDP producing Atiku; as an elder statesman, what do you think they should do?

Whatever I might tell you is based on what I know. In 2015 and 2019, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar tried his best to win the election under the PDP, he had his deputy as Peter Obi. The much I know about Peter Obi, if they had succeeded in that 2019 ,Nigeria would have been different today because Atiku would have worked on the principle of existence and management developed by Peter Obi, nobody would come out to say it is Peter Obi, but the I’ve been monitoring the altercations of our leaders concerning the emergence of a president from Southeast, that is the Igbo extraction, you can read the handwriting on the wall, if the politician from Southeast does what the Southwest did during Obasanjo ,they formed a political party and stood by that political party and in considering who becomes the president from that axis of the country, they realised that they should always be on one page, but look at our own, everybody who wants to be president is on his own , I don’t think former governors, senators and other politicians from the Southeast, irrespective of their differences have sat down and discussed and asked one another who is going to go for us, if they have done that and decided to support a candidate from Igbo extraction, they would have made a headway, but our people say, a single bee, when it goes on a party ,the head would be smashed, that’s why they go on drones ,so ,we play politics in Southeast as if things are normal. In Britain, America and other democratic countries of the world ,they play politics of understanding ,they sit down to say, this is why we want somebody from Southeast to be president, then the leaders will come out and baptise an individual ,once they do that, they present that person to Nigerians if the person loses out, he would have lost out honourably, but look at what we have now , everybody is trying to present himself, but the greatest shock I heard is that His Excellency, Peter Obi withdrew from PDP, we had thought he stood his ground, to face the primaries, if they outwit him ,then we would know that we have tried, we presented our best and yet he was not considered .So, I don’t think there is magic they are going to perform, knowing full well that winning election is a game of numbers ,and again if you look at how selection is being done now ,it’s direct primary, in direct primary ,it is very easy for one man to outwit everybody ,like having 774 local representatives, each local have three ,it is very easy to count . The president has signed new electoral law ,let us hope that there is peace,the way I look at it ,like I had always said Nigeria needs restructuring, if the does not restructure Nigeria peacefully, Nigeria will restructure itself ,it’s already going on ,we advise young men to manage their lives ,if he refuses to manage it,the life will turn around to manage him and that is the problem Nigeria is having now . On the part of Atiku Abubakar ,my own opinion is that except a new party comes to upstage APC and PDP, he is likely to win the election ,the philosophy of Nigerian election is based on the constitution of Lord Lugard and Clifford, those who handled Nigeria from 1914 to the independence in 1960,many Nigerians will come out and start writing and quoting books on how Nigeria developed, but I had a personal interview with Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe ,when I was the commander for the Nigeria Air Force, Enugu, he invited me in 1989 before he died with Air Marshall Alfa, former Chief of Air Staff and laid on the table for us ,how Nigeria became a country ,he gave us information on why he was asking Nigeria to remain together in the interest of Africa, but after that we realised that if we had done something better, Nigeria wouldn’t have been in a mess now, nobody knows.

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But do you sense a gang up by the northerners on Southeast, Atiku emerging from PDP, and probably another northerner from APC?

No, it’s not a gang up, you see since 2007, I’ve always supported PDP ,I don’t think it’s a gang up, our people use to say it’s the corpse that allowsflies to attack it ,if the corpse didn’t die,the flies will not attack it ,if you tell somebody he is going to die and he allows himself to die,who is to blame,there are different political parties,what effort did our people make to unite themselves?

Alright sir, you said there are other political parties, Peter Obi has joined the Labour Party (LP) from what you have seen,do you think he can make any headway from this party?

Nigeria political scene is like a simultaneous quadratic equation ,every time they come to the highest level,the variables become many ,yes it’s true Peter Obi has gone to Labour Party ,looking at Labour Party in Nigeria,at the state level ,the flag bearer for governorship can win because of its modus operandi and ethics, but looking at the Nigeria political scene as I see it today,it will be tough for any party to emerge out of the only main political parties I know, in spite of the fact that by 2019 you had 91 political parties in Nigeria ,I was one of those that condemned it, eventually they reduced it to 18 when others started complaining ,I’m not a politician, but it’s unhealthy to have too many political parties ,if the political parties in Nigeria were to be three and Labour Party happens to be the third one ,yes I can tell you that Peter Obi can win that election or assuming Obi had to team up with Atiku as a running mate, they can easily win election because of the political development involving Peter Obi ,he’s management of the economy is outstanding .

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Now let’s look at Peter Obi himself,how do you see his personality?

I had an instructor in Germany, his name is Adams,he was an instructor in electronics as far back as 1964 ,he asked us in a class one day, gentlemen ,do you know how many ways of doing things? We thought we were smart,some us answered that there are two ways ,either you do it in the wrong way or the right way, he said no,there are three ways ,the right way, the wrong way and the military way. So, when you asked that question, I can authoritatively tell you that there is no magic anybody can make for the president to emerge from Labour Party , it’s either from APC or PDP ,but if they were to be three, Labour Party will outstage these other parties ,the other small parties can easily be rolled over with 18 parties.

Considering how the whole thing is going and Peter Obi almost becoming a movement, don’t you think whatever party he belongs to does not matter?

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If Nigeria is a country that understands having political awareness ,that is possible, but the question is who are the people going to vote, are they politically aware, Nigeria is yet to be politically emancipated, the people going to vote what is their level of development politically ,it’s people at the grassroots who have PVC that is coming to vote .  Let’s talk about Peter Obi, I know him, he’s a technocrat, he has the capacity to run a state, but the problem is that those who will count the vote,would they consider the interest of the country or where the president comes from ,even the presentations made by the aspirants ,how many people listened to them,but I don’t advise him to give up anything can happen in this country.

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