By Chinonso Alozie
OWERRI—SEVERAL Igbo groups under the aegies of National Igbo Youths Council, NIYC, yesterday challenged some northern youths to prove the statement credited to them that the former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, was sponsoring Biafra agitations.
The Igbo groups in a statement to newsmen in Owerri signed by Sebastine Okiro, Okechi Odumuko and Kelechi Odogwu said: “The leadership of various Eastern Youth Groups which included Eastern Peoples Youth Congress, Eastern Youths Progressive Movement, Igbo Youths Forum, Concerned Igbo Citizens, Igbo Agenda For Youths Survival, etc under the coalition of National Igbo Youths Council, NIYC, in our emergency leaders’ meeting at Owerri, resolved total support and acceptance of the candidature of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr Peter Obi to take over the governance of Federal Government of Nigeria.
“That Mr Peter Obi has never sponsored or be a backbone for Biafra agitation as alleged by Northern youths. It is on records that before the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from prison and after, he did not have any contacts with Mr Peter Obi. “The humility and simplicity of Mr Peter Obi and his subsequent nomination as running mate to PDP presidential candidate have send shivers and political jittery to enemies of progressive Nigeria.”
“That we, the grassroot Eastern Nigeria-based groups condemned in it’s totality, the statements credited to the Coalition of Northern Youths groups that Atiku Abubakar should drop Mr Peter Obi as his running mate.
“Ndigbo have never opposed to the candidature of Northern region on elective positions, why should Northern Youths thinks that they will dictate or direct which candidate will emerge from Igboland?
“This sponsored statement from our counterpart in Northern region is a political insult to Ndigbo, it is capable of igniting political rancor among the Arewa and Igbo Youths.
“That Mr Peter Obi has been a Nationalist that has grassroot base and followers in every States of Nigeria, he has established his philanthropic, youths empowerment, academical/economic and human development projects in the Northern region and other parts of Nigeria.
“He has good relationship with leaders of Northern Nigeria. As an expert in economics, Mr Peter Obi has initiated series of economic way out for Nigeria to be liberated from her overwhelming economic failures. Why haven’t the Northern Youths recommended him for his initiatives for national interest?
“During his recent broadcast, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu did not mention or acknowledged Mr Peter Obi. It is still on records that Mr Peter Obi does not sponsor other Pro Biafra group leaders like Comrade Uchenna Madu of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike of BIM, Bar. Onwuka Kalu of BZM and others, how did the Northern youths arrived at their allegations that Mr Peter Obi is a major sponsor of Biafra agitation?
“That We the Coalition of National Igbo Youths Council described the allegations of Northern Youths as a mere blackmail fashioned to discredit the intellectuality and economic reformist of Mr Peter Obi. We urge all the youths of Nigeria federation and entire electorates to ignore the sponsored media attacks on the person of Mr Peter Obi.”