ANAMBRA – Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has insisted that it is supporting the Peter Obi campaign as a way of ensuring equity, fairness and justice for the people of the South East.
This is even as the apex Igbo socio-cultural group has decried the renewed killings in several parts of the South East, saying it was a grand design by enemies to stoke insecurity in order to undermine the aspiration of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP).
Disclosing these in Umuahia yesterday, during the inauguration of the new executives of the Abia State chapter of Ohanaeze, Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Okey Emuchay said Peter Obi remains the choice of Ohanaeze for the presidency come 2023.
He said that Ohanaeze was convinced that the killings that took place at Eha-Amufu in Enugu State last week and the rising insecurity in Imo and Anambra States were deliberately targeted to undermine the zone.
“The campaigns have started and we’re facing existential challenges because of who we are: the Igbo. The killings have started in Enugu and other parts of South East.
“They want to demarket the South East, that’s why insecurity has increased just because the presidential aspiration of an Igbo man has taken a life of its own,” he said.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo scribe stated that in the search for equity, justice and fairness for the Igbo in Nigeria, the apex organisation had robustly engaged with other parts of the country to support an Igbo to emerge as the next Nigeria president.
To this end he said the political action committee set up by Ohanaeze traversed the country and engaged with political parties, traditional rulers and all other stakeholders “but at the end of the day, the two major political parties overlooked Ndigbo” in the choice of their presidential candidates.
Ambassador Emuchay said that the rest of Nigeria should not be treating Ndigbo as if they don’t belong when it comes to occupying the highest office in the land and other sensitive positions.
He pointed out that the South West zone was assuaged with the presidency in 1999 following the injustice done to them when the presidential election was annulled in 1993 and the pressed winner, M.K.O Abiola later died in unexplained circumstances.
“Nigeria took a decision in 1999 and presented Olu Falae and Olusegun Obasanjo as presidential candidates and Obasanjo was chosen,” he said.
According to him, such a deliberate political arrangement could have been applied to the South East in the run-up to the 2023 poll if there was sincerity for Igbo inclusiveness in the Nigeria project.
“The war has since ended and for equity, Justice and fairness, Nigeria should support somebody from the South East to become persistent,” he said, adding that “Ohanaeze Ndigbo is not talking of Igbo presidency but a president of Nigeria from the South East.”
Earlier in his address, the new State president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Abia State chapter, Comrade Okey Nwankwo said that “the Igbo have all it takes to lead the nation.”
He called on all Igbo sons and daughters to contribute their quota in the quest to achieve total development of the Igbo nation in terms of human and physical development.
While assuring the state chapter of Ohanaeze will not be involved in local politics, Nwaknwo however called on all leaders of the group to mobilise for the 2023 population census.
Chairman on the occasion, DIG Azubuko Udah (retd) wants the group to be reorganized to make it more attractive to Igbo sons and daughters.
Udah advocated for all sons and daughters of Ndigbo to as a matter of right be members of Ohanaeze. “Every Igbo man and woman should be members of Ohanaeze by birth; it should be a right for all Igbo to be members”.
Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and other notable Igbo sons were honoured at the event.