We did not endorse Atiku, says Ohanaeze Ndigbo

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Ohanaeze Ndigbo, an Igbo socio-political organisation, has clarified the notion that the organisation endorsed Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Chuks Ibegbu, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the organisation said this at a news conference in Enugu.

He said the organisation as a body has not endorsed any particular candidate or party because Ohenaeze Ndigbo children are scattered across all political parties.

He said the Ohanaeze needed to be circumspect, “as our children are in all the political parties”.

Ibegbu continued: “It is erroneous to say that we endorsed Atiku. Ohanaeze Ndigbo did not endorse anybody. That meeting at Nike Lake Resort was organised by friends of Atiku.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been canvassing for our people to identify with candidates that will restructure Nigeria if voted into power.”

Some Igbo leaders had met on November 14, 2018, to endorse the candidature of Atiku, who is running for president on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform.

At the November 14 meeting, elder statesman Ben Nwabueze called on the Igbos to honour him by ensuring the emergence of the Atiku/Obi presidential ambition.

“We must ensure the survival of the Igbo race in Nigeria and it is only through the success of that ticket that we can get it,” he said at the meeting.

The Igbo leaders present at the meeting agreed to “identify with the Atiku/Peter Obi ticket on the restructuring agenda as has been reiterated by four zones of the country”.

However, the spokesperson to the organisation said the resolution at the meeting was their position.

“We still stand on that and in the next few days, we shall meet to take a holistic position on the elections. However, due to our peculiar circumstance in the country, we will identify with candidates that will restructure Nigeria if voted into power.”

On the achievements of the group in office, he said: “Within these two years, we have given our modest contribution to the re-jigging of Igbo leadership and leveraging of Igbo issues in Nigeria.

Some of our modest achievements serially include: The restoration of the dignity of the Igbo race in Nigeria and across the globe; the building of bridges with other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria; the initiation and pursuit of the restructuring of Nigeria, a position that has now become a national mantra; the promotion of Igbo language culture and heritage; the establishment and promotion of Ohanaeze Ndigbo activities at local, state, national and diaspora levels; the diplomatic and deft handling of such explosive issues as ‘Quit Notice’ to Ndigbo by Northern Youths, the pro-Biafra agitation, the Fulani Herdsmen/Farmers crisis in Igbo land, the Operation Python Dance issue and many other threatening issues that would have snowballed to a national disaster.”

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