New Telegraph

2023: Ohanaeze declares support for Peter Obi

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has, pledged its support for the candidate of Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi in the 2023 presidential election. This came as South East Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders reportedly rejected Atiku Abubakar’s move to make one of them hisrunningmateinthepresidential poll. Ohanaezehadwarnedpoliticians in the region against accepting to be any candidate’s running mate, insisting on an Igbo presidency.

Vice President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Damian Okeke- Ogene, who received the executives of the Anambra State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) inNanka, OrumbaNorthLocal Government Area yesterday, saidthegrouphadsettled for Obi. However, he said the former Anambra State governor’s presidential bid is no longer an Igbo agenda, but a youth agenda, saying he has proved to be the most qualified of all the candidates seeking to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari. Addressing the leadership of NUJ, led by Dr Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Okeke-Ogene condemned the recently-concluded PDP and All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primaries. According to the Ohanaeze chief, the South East political class frustrated all efforts to ensure the region produces the next President.

He said: “The unexpected emergence of Mr Peter Obi as the presidential candidate of the Labour Party has brought a new dimension to Nigerian politics. “He is a candidate that gained immediate national and international acceptance. This is not because of a President Igbo extraction or the rotational presidency, nor is it because of ethnic or religious reasons. Rather, it is because of Obi’s stand for those who want to enthrone a new political and social order that will end the recycling of leadership that has become a burden to Nigerians.

“His emergence has engendered a mass movement that will have a similar if not stronger impact like the #EndSARS protests, because people see in him a candidate that will evolve a new Nigeria, with the capability to change the way things are being done by upholding progressive ideology that is not based on tribe, religion or political leaning.” Okeke-Ogene said the failure of South East governors to form a common front ahead of the PDP and APC presidential primaries is regrettable. He said: “The political class in the South East frustrated efforts of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in championing the course for a President of Igbo extraction.

“It is sad to note that all the delegates at the conventions were more or less controlled by the leadership of their various parties which was reflected in their voting pattern and was a slap on the expectations of the South East.” However, Okeke-Ogene commended Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi for fighting gallantly during the APC presidential primary. Meanwhile, it was learnt that eight politicians in the South East were approached by former Vice President Atiku’s loyalists regarding the PDP presidential candidate’s running mate, but all rejected the offer. It was also learnt that the frustration of the opposition party was forced to settle for Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa from the Igbo-speaking part of South South as Atiku’s running mate because no one accepted in the South East.

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