19th March, 2021
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has called on the Peoples Democratic Party to withdraw the Bala Mohammed-led committee report which recommended that the 2023 presidential ticket of the party should be thrown open to all sections of the country.
Ohanaeze, in a statement released on Thursday, described the committee report as most despicable, un-reflective and unconscionable.
The Igbo parent body noted that the report was capable of impugning the unity of the country because it has been earlier agreed that the presidency will return to the south after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group added that it was committed to Nigeria producing a President of Igbo extraction in 2023, adding that it will willingly identify with any group that is ready for the bargain.
In a statement, on Thursday, National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnia said: “Ohanaeze views the report by the Bala Mohammed led committee as most despicable, un-reflective and unconscionable. It is very worrisome that some highly placed Nigerians who have benefited so much from the unity of the country would be inclined to decisions and actions that will further inflame the passions of the patient but aggrieved part of the country.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Nigerians agreed on the rotation of the presidency between the North and the South; in which case it is the turn of the South after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari. For clarity purposes, both the South West and the South-South had both taken their turns in the persons of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan respectively. It is rather very unpatriotic and a trifle on the sensibilities of the Igbo for the committee to even suggest the rotation of the presidency to the North East in the first instance and open to every part of Nigeria as a major slight.
“It is disturbing that all the indignities, perceived and real, that the South East suffer in the current dispensation are the outcome of the Igbo support to the PDP since 1999. It is on record that in 1999, the Igbo were in hock with the PDP through which Chief Olusegun Obasanjo emerged the President of Nigeria; same in 2003 and the subsequent elections in Nigeria.
“On the other hand, the Igbo had invested much political capital in the PDP only to be betrayed by its apparent lack of principles. The leadership of the PDP is advised to retract the comment made by Alh Bala Mohammed and countermand the content of the obnoxious committee report in the interest of the party.
“Let it be known that Ndigbo does not wax so eloquent on political parties. The Igbo is bound to advertise the party that caters to the interest of our people. It is instructive that Senator Ali Ndume, a chieftain of the All Peoples Congress (APC) is among the prominent Northerners that canvass for zoning the Nigerian presidency to the South East for the 2023 presidential election. Other prominent APC chieftains are highly committed to the realisation of this project and we will be very delighted to work with them in the overall interest of Ndigbo.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor is committed to a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction and there is no going back on it. It should be noted that the Igbo network transcends geographical space and the enormous Igbo goodwill and resources across the world will be mobilized to achieve this equity-inspired project. In the words of Obiozor, the Igbo are a confident set of people who do not hide their feelings easily no matter the consequences.
“He added that if you deny the Igbo justice, be ready for righteous indignation, diminishing authority, denial of the legitimacy of governance and loyalty. The Igbo faith and confidence is based on what you deny the Igbo in the morning, they can give to themselves in the evening through hard work and perseverance. We are undaunted.”