Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, says Peter Obi, vice-presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), does not have the right to say he is politically irrelevant.
Speaking at an interactive forum of maritime stakeholders in Lagos, on Tuesday, Amaechi tackled Obi for attacking him over his comments on the 2023 presidency.
The minister had said the Igbo had nothing to negotiate for 2023 presidency.
Reacting, Obi had said Amaechi lacked the competence to talk about which geopolitical zone should produce the president in 2023.
“Amaechi is not from the southeast, so he cannot speak for us. He is not in any position to make such statement because even him that is in APC, he did not contribute anything to the success of that election,” he had said.
“He did not even achieve anything in his own state. Those of us from the southeast who are from the PDP contributed to the success of our party.”
But in Amaechi’s latest response, the minister said Obi did not have the credibility to speak on the matter because he could not win the presidential election.
Describing Obi’s comment as “sad and cheap one”, Amaechi said his name has been in the front burner of national politics far more than that of Obi.
“Peter Obi said I’m not an Igbo man and that I don’t have the locus to discuss whether Igbo presidency will be or not in 2023. That comment is a very sad and cheap one from him,” Amaechi said.
“But the truth is that Peter Obi too does not have the locus to speak about Igbo presidency because he and his party couldn’t win the presidential election.
“Aside from that, it’s most unfortunate that Peter Obi, a man I defeated to become the chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum(NGF), when we were both governors, can wake up today to say I am not relevant in the polity to talk about national issues when journalists ask me questions about it.”
He, however, noted that it is the turn of the Igbo to produce the next president since they have never had the opportunity but added that for it to become a reality, they must be part of “national politics”
“I think what is important which I have said to the Igbo several times is that they need to be part of national politics. If they are not part of national politics, they cannot be president,” he said.
“National politics means that an Ikwerre man must have his interest covered by the Igbo if they want to be president. The Yoruba man must have the Igbo cover their interests, the Hausa, Fulani people must also be confident that their interests are covered by the Igbo.
“I support Igbo presidency. I believe that it’s the Igbo turn to produce the next president of Nigeria because they have not been there before.
“The country will be unfair to the Igbo if they say it’s not their turn. But it can’t be your turn and you don’t want to fight for it. You want us to wake you up from sleep and say come and take, it is your turn?
“It doesn’t work like that and it will not work that way. So, Peter Obi should close his mouth. He lost an election which I won and that’s why President Buhari, not Atiku will be sworn-in tomorrow as president.”