From Paul Osuyi, Asaba 

The South South and South East leadership of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has urged other presidential candidates to drop their ambition and support Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

CUPP said it has endorsed the Atiku-Okowa ticket for president, and urged all stakeholders in the zones to support Atiku, saying the PDP candidate has the requisite experience to transform the country.

CUPP which is made up of various registered political parties, said it would mobilise members of the parties under it in the two zones to vote the Atiku-Okowa ticket of the PDP.

Reading a nine-page communique before newsmen in Asaba, Delta State, CUPP spokesman in the zones, Henry Eze, said the group decided to endorse the Atiku-Okowa ticket after critical assessment of all the candidates and their parties for the upcoming election.

Flanked by CUPP Chairman in the South South and South East, Ken Ike, and representatives of political parties from the 11 states, Eze said Atiku’s commitment to devolution of power was in line with the agitation in the two zones for the nation’s restructuring.

He described Atiku as the most experienced of all the presidential candidates, adding that the Atiku-Okowa ticket satisfied the criteria for Muslim-Christian ticket “in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country like Nigeria.

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“This is in contradistinction to the APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket of Tinubu-Shettima which is an insult to the Christian population of Nigeria whose religious sensibilities have been totally ignored and thrown overboard. The APC Muslim-Muslim ticket is certainly a recipe for chaos and instability in Nigeria,” he said.

Eze added that Atiku’s choice of Okowa as running mate has demonstrated his love for Igbo people, noting that both Atiku and Okowa are tested unifiers who would uphold the unity and security of the country if elected.

He also cited Atiku’s handling of the economy as chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) during the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, as another reason for choosing him above other candidates.

“In view of Atiku’s strong views on restructuring, education, his experience and maturity on politics, CUPP in South South and South East believe he is the best among the 2023 presidential candidates of political parties.

“We urge all the presidential candidates to support the presidential bid of Atiku for the 2023 presidential election.

“We equally urged all political stakeholders, opinion leaders and elders of the South South and South East geo-political zones and all Nigerians of good conscience to support Atiku Abubakar in order to rescue Nigeria from the hands of APC government that has brought misery, despair and frustration to more than 200 million Nigerians from 2015 till the present day,” he said.