The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has commended Afenifere, Yoruba umbrella socio-cultural group, that Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, won the Feb 25 polls.
Recall that Afenifere, after its meeting at the residence of its leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo at Isanya-Ogbo, Ogun State, resolved that Obi won the polls from its analysis of what transpired.
The Yoruba group also sacked its national publicity secretary for issuing an authorized statement on its behalf to the effect that Ohanaeze’s council of elders chairman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, called the Yoruba nation ‘political rascals’.
Ohanaeze’s commendation is contained in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia.
It read, “Ohanaeze Ndigbo salutes Afenifere’s courage, tenacity, dedication, robustness and unwavering commitment to the ideals of pan-Nigerianism and the continued existence of Nigeria without caring whose ox is gored. We applaud the resolutions of its meeting in its entirety and pray that God Almighty continue to grant the Afenifere the wisdom and courage to always champion the cause of a better Nigeria.
“We are persuaded that the Afenifere’s resolutions as published are fundamental and foundational to the current socio-political crisis gnawing at the heart of Nigeria; and that those resolutions speak truth to the conscience of the powers that be in Nigeria.
“Ohanaeze supports those resolutions in all ramifications and join in calling on the president and government of Nigeria to, as a matter of urgency, restore public confidence and hope in the Nigerian project. Afenifere’s unflinching stand on the side of equity and justice has not come to us as a surprise given that the organization has, at various times, stood for truth each time Nigeria finds herself at the cross-roads.
“We are not unmindful of Afenifere’s role in restoring democracy to Nigeria through the platform of the National Democratic Coalition(NADECO). The Afenifere leaders, with alliances across the national divide and the international bodies, launched the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), which eventually gave birth to the Committee for Unity and Understanding (CUU), among others.
“We thank the Afenifere for telling the world the true position on the February 25 presidential election, which from available records, was won by Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party. Furthermore, we commend the Afenifere for its reassurances of security and support to stranger communities in Yorubaland, particularly Lagos State and for reassuring our people that there is no war between the Yoruba and any other group in Nigeria, especially the Igbo.
“In addition, we commend the Afenifere for strongly condemning the campaigns of calumny and acts of ethnic violence deployed by some politicians and their hired criminal gangs in several parts of the federation during the gubernatorial election particularly in Lagos State where the election was made to appear like an inter-ethnic war between the Yoruba and the Igbo; which greatly led to voters’ suppression and other forms of brigandage and disenfranchisement.
“Such rejection could not have come at a better time than this. We encourage other ethnic socio-cultural organizations to borrow a leaf from the Afenifere in standing up for principles of equity and justice and to be counted each time Nigeria is confronted with political crises.
“We join Afenifere in restating our confidence in the judiciary with the hope that it will acquit itself creditably in the election litigations presently before it without fear or favour.
“We commend Afenifere for its wisdom and maturity in discountenancing the handiwork of mischief-makers in an attempt to misrepresent the remarks by the chairman, Council of Elders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.
“We want to place on record that when the history of Nigerian travails is written, Chief Ayo Adebanjo will feature most copiously on the side of justice, nobility, honour, courage, character and integrity.”