Nigeria?s vice president Atiku Abubakar has announced his candidacy for the presidency. The move defies a ban by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, which was imposed during an ongoing investigation of embezzlement accusations. There?s also strong opposition to his candidacy by President Olusegun Obasanjo and from governors, who announced their candidacies earlier. One of them is Orji Uzo Kalu, governor of the southeastern Abia State.
VOA English to Africa Service reporter asked him what he thinks of Abubakar?s candidacy. He says the vice president has the right to aspire to lead the country.
?I welcome his decision to run. I also encourage other interested candidates to come out and make their intentions known to enable the electorate choose the best man for the job,? he says.
Kalu says that the perceived influence and power of President Obasanjo would not deter his critics, who are interested in getting the party?s backing.
?President Obasanjo is just one man and is not a God. He has only one vote and only Nigerians would determine who their next president would be, despite beliefs to the contrary,? he says.
Gov. Kalu says Vice President Atiku would however have a difficult time convincing Nigerians he could become the next president because several state governors have the required experience to move the country forward.
?I believe I am better qualified to become president because I have managed a state for two terms, taken care of men and materials, I have been tested and could take the country to the next level?.