At Last, Obi Joins the PDP

By Valentine Obienyem

The former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi yesterday played host to who-is-who in the People's Democratic Party(PDP), in the South-East at his GRA Onitsha home yesterday.

Led by the Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekwerumadu; Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha; SGF, Sen. Pius Anyim Pius and the Chairman of the South-East Governors' Forum, others in the entourage includes, the Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Dr. Godswill Akpabio, Governor Elechi(rep) ;former Governor, Okwesilieze Nwodo,former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, Sen. Uche Chukwumerije, Emma Anosike, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, Sen. Ben Obi, Sen. Igwe Paulinus, Kema Chikwe, Others are Hons. Ozongbachi, Offor Chukwuegbo, Uche Ekwunife, Chris Azobogu, Fort Dike, Jerry Alagboso, Toby Okechukwu, Kingsley Ebenyi, Onyechi Ezenwa, Ibechie, Eucharia Anazodo, Chuma Nzeribe, Princess Adaeze Oduah, Arua Arunsi, Egwuatu Cyril, Anayo Nebe, Col Usobundu, Ifeanyi Ubah. Members of the Federal EXCO were there: Emeka Nwogu, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Osita Chidoka, Valarie Onwualili, among many others

On their mission, the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, represented by the publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh said the visit was as a result of the resolution by the entire South-East to pay him a visit and persuade him to join the PDP for more meaningful contribution to national affairs. Olisa who said that PDP had never lost election in the East, but to Peter Obi as a person because of his integrity, forthrightness, hardwork, honesty, which had made the people to love him and to be willing to follow him at all times. Citing the recent joining of the PDP by Governor Mimiko, Mr. Metuh said time was ripe for Obi to join.

Speaking, Gov. Akpabio agreed that the PDP always lost in Anambra because of Obi. He said he wished they met Obi before the governorship election in Anambra that PDP would have won. However, he said it was not late for him to join the PDP and work at the centre for the good of the country. He described Obi as a man of integrity, who comes out strongly on issues who would be an asset to the country at the centre. He called Obi and his wife to be proud of himself saying "If some of your people do not believe in you, if we do not admire you, if they do not realize your potentials, we gathered here are telling you that Nigerians believe in you and admire you.

Speaking during the visit, the Governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Orji said: " We are here today to discuss to future and progress of the South-East geo-political zone with our brother Mr. Peter Obi, who was the immediate Governor of Anambra State.Having reviewed with him the state of the country and how it affects our people, we came to the conclusion that our interest in the country is better served when we remain together as brothers and sister under one party and speak with one voice, which Obi has championed over the years.We all agreed that politics globally is dynamic and changes from time to time. In Nigeria, for example, we have moved from regional parties to regional politics, which requires our people staying together and speaking with one voice. We in the East should do the same in the interest of our people.We therefore appealed to him to join the people's Democratic Party (PDP), since that is the party majority of our people belong to. Further, Chief Orji said Obi was the type of person the PDP needed to move on because of his integrity and that it was not everybody that the leadership of an organization would be united in wooing him to join the party.

Contributing, the Deputy Senate President, Hon. Ike Ekweremadu said Obi, even when in APGA, extended hands of friendship to everybody that would contribute to the development of Anambra State. He said that Obi's demonstration of leadership, integrity, his friendship with the President and commitment to Nigeria prompted them to come and appeal to him to join the PDP.

Also speaking, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha said the decision to come and appeal to Mr. Peter Obi to join the PDP was a collective one borne out of How importantly Nigerians take Mr. Obi.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, said he was optimistic the forum would end up convincing the Gov. to make definite pronouncement today. He said the delegation would not, in fact, leave his house until he joins."

Thereafter, the former Chairman of the PDP, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo in moving the motion for Obi to join them said: "in view of Mr. Obi's integrity, political sagacity, marvellous work in Anambra State, stabilizing influence on the Federal Government, we the leaders of the PDP move the motion that you are the one we are waiting for in the PDP.

The motion was seconded by the Minister of Works, Chief Emeka Nwogu, who said that Peter Obi was one good man the PDP needed for his utility not just to the President, but to the country at large.

Mrs Kema Chikwe, speaking on behalf of woman said Obi was like the woman having an affair, and begot children, and that the event of today was akin to his mistress coming with his children to ask for the legalization of the marriage. He described Obi as sharing the same vision of a prosperous country with the PDP and that we would contribute more to Nigeria by joining a national party

The former Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, who was called upon to respond to the request by Sen. Ben Obi, said he was humbled by the visit thus: "I most sincerely appreciate this visit by people I consider as important political leaders from the South-East. I thank you for your continued belief and commitment to the welfare of our people and the progress of our country.

I have in the past worked closely with all of you and you know my belief about our zone working together. I assure you that we will continue to work even closer as a team in the interest of our people. Regarding your visit of today, let me assure you that I heard your kind and passionate requests and that your journey would not be in vain but in the best interest of our people.

Further Obi said the issue of joining a National party is not about happening in APGA, but because of the need to be a competitor and not a spectator in national affairs.

Finally, after protracted request that he be given time to get back to them and the insistence of the forum that time was of essence, he joined.

Taking unawares by the number of people that flooded to Obi's house, canopies were hurriedly set up to accommodate them. One of Obi's aides said they thought it was just a visit by a few PDP members as their oga told them but were surprised that it turned out to be a carnival.

The former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi( middle), with the PDP hierarchy from the South-East, including Gov. Godswill Akpabio, shortly after Obi joined the PDP at his Onitsha GRA residence yesterday.