Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has restated its “irrevocable support” for the candidacy of the presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, who already has been endorsed by the leadership of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum, SMBLF.
Ohanaeze, which made the declaration Sunday in a press statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, said the endorsement of Obi by the SMB was also in tandem with justice and equity as the South-East had not had the opportunity to produce the President of Nigeria since the beginning of the current democratic experience.
“On the SMBLF endorsement we stand, most irrevocably,” the statement read.
It further read, “The resolve of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide for the 2023 general election is constant, consistent and very clear; without any form of equivocation whatsoever.
“In the first place, going by the principles of zoning and rotation of power in Nigeria which has been in existence since 1999, it is the turn of the South-East of Nigeria to produce the president in 2023.”
The apex Igbo body expressed delight over the nation-wide acceptance of Obi’s candidacy, saying the swelling support has justified its endorsement of the former Anambra State Governor.
“On the other hand, Ohanaeze took a commodity to the market and the world are clamouring for it, we are rather very excited, happy and fulfilled that Nigeria is now in full possession of the commodity.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Professor George Obiozor, explained that Obi has filled what could have been a very sad gap.
“Therefore, Obi represents the Nigerian conscience, moral probity, generational hope, redemption epiphany and above all, the Igbo collective unconscious. The philosophy of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide finds a cogent expression in the symbol of Nigerian unity and a beacon of hope as epitomized by Mr. Peter Obi.”
Ohanaeze further explained that its support for Obi was not only based on equity and justice but also on merit, competence, track record of accomplishments and the veritable ideas that Obi espouses for a better Nigeria.
“Ohanaeze works in collaboration with the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), comprising the Afenifere, PANDEF, Middle Belt Leaders and Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by an elder-statesman, Chief E K Clarke.
“The group in its quest for Nigerian unity, peace and sustainable national development has endorsed Mr. Peter Obi as their candidate for the 2023 general election,” Ohanaeze said.
“A lot has been said that the Labour Party, especially as it concerns Obi, has no structure. It needs to be pointed out that the Obi movement is a massive disruptive reaction against the deplorable Nigerian pathologies. People use the Obi phenomenon to express dissatisfaction with the status quo.
“It is a revolt against injustice, poverty, unemployment, corruption and all forms of vicious circles that have become the trademark of Nigeria. In other words, every revolution is a structural change.”
Ohanaeze said “that the Obi movement stands to dismantle or change what ever structure that has brought us to this intractable tragedy and reprehensible denouement.
“Lastly, the impotent debate on structure has long been overwhelmed and rested by the recent events in Nigeria.
On the double endorsement by the Afenifere; one faction to Obi and the other to Tinubu, evidently, history repeats itself on a daily basis.
“Even in the kingdom of God, there was a faction. One represents light, truth, equity, justice, reasonableness and a bright future while the other represents the very opposites. But, surely, history will always vindicate the just.”