Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has disowned media reports claiming that it had dragged Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, to deities over his controversial epistle against the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization said the purported reports never emanated from it, and should be discountenanced.
Ohanaeze in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, dismissed the fake media reports as “reckless.”
The apex Igbo body said dragging people to deities is not part of Igbo culture.
“The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to a bizarre and reckless publication currently circulating in the media suggesting that the apex Igbo socio-cultural body and by extension “Ndigbo have dragged Governor Soludo to the two famous divinities and deities, Chokoneze in Mbaise and Ubiniukpabi in Arochukwu for his unreasonable public behaviour.”
The purported reports in some sections of the media had claimed that Ohanaeze said that the “sanctions against Soludo to face Igbo deities will serve as a deterrent to South-East politicians, who have been hired by enemies of Ndigbo and Nigerians to derail the Obi’s Presidency in 2023.”
Ohanaeze said it it would have ignored the purported reports only that doing so could give credence to it.
“Ohanaeze would have ignored the said press release, but silence in this circumstance will tend to give validity to such a fallacy by the unsuspecting public.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has never contemplated consultation to deities in seeking solutions for the Igbo dilemma.
“The Igbo are profoundly endowed in various ways least of which is a resort to deities.
“It needs be added that on November 15, 2022, the National Executive Committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo held a meeting presided over by Professor George Obiozor. The issue of the place of the Igbo in 2023 was elaborately discussed, wherein Obiozor stated: “Having traversed the length and breadth of the country on an advocacy mission for the emergence of a President of Nigeria from the South-East zone in the 2023 general elections.
“We expected a positive outcome, but the two major political parties, APC and PDP rejected with impunity and impudence the practice and convention of the last twenty years of rotation and zoning of office of the President.”
Ohanaeze re-echoed its unflinching support for Obi’s presidential project and urged all Igbo people to support the position of Ohanaeze.
“The emergence of Mr. Peter Obi as of today has fulfilled all the expectations of Ndigbo to participate in the 2023 Presidential elections which includes winning the primaries of the party and being nominated as the Presidential candidate of the party.
“This is the advice given to all igbo contestants in the 2023 Presidential election which is appropriate by virtue of justice, equity and fairness. The whole country knows this to be the truth and the whole world knows this to be the fact, all of them are watching events in Nigeria either with trepidation or doubt.
“Obiozor concluded: “The situation in the country today offers Ndigbo the opportunity to relaunch themselves in all socio political dimensions.
“Yet, we must keep asking the rest of Nigerians, ‘what do they really want to do with Ndigbo?’ The decision will be theirs and the response will be ours.”
Ohanaeze commended Nigerians and groups supporting the candidacy of Obi.
“In other words, the position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and of course the Igbo with respect to 2023 is a constant. We rather used the opportunity to thank all the eminent Nigerians that have lent their supports or thrown their weight behind the cause of justice, equity, unity, progress and corporate existence of Nigeria in the person of Mr. Peter Obi.”
Ohanaeze, therefore, said that any Igbo elite opposed to the position of the apex Igbo body concerning the 2023 presidency had made oneself an enemy of Ndigbo.
“For Ohanaeze Ndigbo, it is either one is with us or against us but never will Nigerians be distracted, since history beckons.
“For several years to come, it will be recorded as “once upon a time, Ndigbo were shortchanged in the political calculations of Nigeria and Mr. Peter Obi from Anambra State braved up to change the narratives and that he was able to fill the Nigerian expectations.
“All the dynamics and intrigues associated with the above scenario will form the essential component of the Igbo history.”
Ohanaeze said that its Secretary is Ambassador Okay Emuchey, and any document purportedly emanating from the Secretary with another name should be disregarded.
“Ohanaeze once more informs that the Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide is Ambassador Okey Emuchay, MFR, and any claim to the contrary are mischief makers, impostors, charlatans, social climbers and those media navigators who leech on the invaluable footprints of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to issue press releases for narrow, perverse and illicit pecuniary interests.
“It is such unwholesome activities by some maladjusted, impish scaremongers that have been the bane of Igbo cohesion and progress.
“It is worth repeating that various eminent Igbo dignitaries have appealed to such mischief makers to appreciate that Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide represents the Igbo history, emotions, collectivity, spirituality, unity and strength.”