The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide says the Igbo support for Mr Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, is solid.
Ohanaeze stated this in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia. The statement was issued in response to fears expressed by Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, spokesman of the Northern Elders’ Forum, about the support base of Obi in the South East following Anambra governor Charles Soludo’s recent anti-Obi comments.
Ahmed had said, “We don’t know whether they (South-East) are in support of Peter Obi. The nation can see what is happening now and if the South East fails to line up behind Obi, they should not blame anybody.”
Ogbonnia, in the release, said, “The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor reassures the Northern Elders’ Forum and indeed the whole Nigeria that the South East of Nigeria or better put, the Igbo, are solidly behind our illustrious son, Mr Peter Obi.
“There is no gainsaying the distraction by the negligible minority-elite who by the aid of the social media have over exaggerated their self-worth, authority, power and political relevance.
“Instructively, the Christian religion informs that in every twelve, there must be a Judas. This is a statement of fact, history, experience and a socio-political imperative.
“It is rather inconceivable to expect everybody to support Obi. What is important is that the Obi-Datti movement has gained the support of over ninety percent Igbo and continues to swell with time.
“Ohanaeze will not join issues with those who are opposed to the collective Igbo aspiration with hope that, as in every ideology, more converts will key in when the logs of wood in their eyes are cleared.
“The Ohanaeze support to Obi is not because of his Igboness as rightly pointed out by Baba-Ahmed. What goes for Obi today is the awesome quality service he rendered to his people as a governor; and of course, the dispositional humility, character comeliness and intellectual acumen that define his public conducts.
“On behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and indeed all the Nigerian compatriots, we commend the Northern Elders’ Forum for their support to the best man who can heal the wounds in the land.
“What has remained the curse of the third world is in the choice we make at every occasion. While our ugly past has been defined by selfishness, greed, injustice, ethnic and religious sentiments, the enlightened Nigerian youths of today are more imaginative, proactive, creative, rational and cosmopolitan.
“The prevailing poverty and hardship do not recognize the boundaries of ethnicity and religion. Therefore, Nigeria is at a critical juncture with a choice between our characteristic vicious circle on one hand and the virtuous circle annotated with wealth creation and sustainable national development on the other.
“Finally, Professor Obiozor is not just an erudite scholar, he is also a prophet. He long predicted that any party that nominates its presidential candidate outside the South East of Nigeria will surely have problems.
“Expectedly, the more the crises in the other political parties, the more enlarged the Obi-Datti coast will become. It is worth reiterating that the justice and equity the Igbo seek in Nigeria has found a providential expression in Obi. This is because, every Nigerian, big or small, young or old, knows that it is the turn of the South East to produce a president for Nigeria come 2023, going by the rotation and zoning principles that have been entrenched in Nigeria since 1999.
“Obi is a good commodity that defies bad market. As it stands, Obi represents the body and soul of the Igbo for the 2023 general election. We hereby urge Nigerians to ignore any contrary opinion from the South East as the usual distraction and thorns that trail the path to victory.”