Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has been advised not to endorse any candidate or party for the 2023 presidential election as doing so would be politically suicidal.
A concerned Igbo simply identified as Nwachinemere in an open letter posted on Izu Umunna platform to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor; and Secretary, Ambassador Okay Emuchay, respectively, said Ohanaeze should remain neutral.
He argued that endorsement of any candidate or political party by the Ohanaeze would send the wrong signals to other tribes, urging the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation to leave its doors open to all.
The letter made available to Ikengaonline read in part: “Biko Biko Biko Biko I am on my knees begging us to leave Ohanaeze alone. Why do we want Ohanaeze to endorse Peter Obi?
“PO is now a movement and it is better for all of us that Ohanaeze looks the other way. Once PO is elected president Ohanaeze will be the first to announce congratulations to the world.
“I want this to be on record. I am humbly appealing to Ohanaeze and the entire Igbo leadership collective that it will be suicidal for Ohanaeze to endorse any political party or candidate.
“Please Ohanaeze should wish all well and leave it at that. It will be a strategic error for Ohanaeze to endorse any candidates or any political party.
“Ohanaeze should keep its door open to as many candidates and parties that wants to come and pay homage/salute. We must think beyond the moment and think strategy.”
He, however, defended Ohanaeze against those criticising the organisation for congratulating Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, a Delta Igbo, on his nomination as the running mate to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
The congratulatory message, according to him is very strategic and commendable contrary to the wrong perception by myopic critics.
“I see no wrong in Ohanaeze congratulating Ifeanyi Okowa. That move in my view is strategic owing to the fact that Okowa is Anioma and Ndigbo in Anioma need to be reassured of the larger Igbo family cover. Ohanaeze congratulating Okowa even when PO is in the race is strategic.”