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Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has backed the presidential bid of former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, saying that it has brought a new dimension to the politics of Nigeria.
The Vice President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Damian Okeke-Ogene, stated this on Thursday in Nanka, Orumba North Local Government Area, while receiving the executive of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State chapter in his hometown.
Okeke-Ogene said Obi’s presidential quest was no longer an Igbo agenda, but a youth agenda, and a mass movement, as he has proven to be the most qualified of all the people running for the position.
Addressing the leadership of NUJ led by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Okeke-Ogene said the recently concluded primary elections of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were regrettable, as the political class in the South-east frustrated efforts to work for an Igbo president.
He said: “The unexpected emergence of Mr Peter Obi as the presidential candidate of Labour Party has brought a new dimension in Nigeria politics.
“He is a candidate that gained immediate national and international acceptance. This is not because of the presidency of Igbo extraction or rotational presidency, neither is it because of ethnic or religious reasons. Rather, it is because of Obi’s stand for those who want to enthrone a new political and social order that will end recycling of leadership that has become a burden to Nigerians.
“His emergence has engendered a mass movement that will have a similar if not stronger impact like the End SARS Protest, because people see in him a candidate that will evolve a new Nigeria, with capability to change the way things are being done, by upholding progressive ideology that is not based on tribe, religion or political leaning.”
The Vice President speaking on failure of South East governors to form a common front in both the PDP and APC on the election of a candidate said it was regrettable.
“The political class in the South-east frustrated efforts of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in championing the course for presidency of Igbo extraction.
“It is sad to note that all the delegates at the conventions were more or less controlled by the leadership of their various political parties which was reflected in their voting pattern and was a slap on the expectations of the South East.”
The group, however, commended Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State for being the only aspirants from the zone who held his forth, while commending him for fighting gallantly during the APC presidential primary election.
Referring to Umahi’s recent attack on Ohanaeze, and disowning its president, Prof George Obiozor, Okeke-Ogene urged him not to be disenchanted, but to calm down, so as not to further divide the Igbo with utterances that are divisive.
He called on the elders of Ohanaeze to send a delegation to Ebonyi to mediate between Umahi and the group to avoid a breakdown of a relationship that has been built over the years.
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