By Dennis Agbo
Seven states have given strong support to Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s endorsement of Atiku Abubakar as Igbo preferred candidate for next Saturday’s Presidential election.
Presidents of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the seven states at a crucial meeting in Enugu, Friday, said it reviewed exhaustively the State of Nigeria, especially in relation to the general elections and arrived at their support.
In a communique by the seven presidents, they noted that the demand by Ndigbo for restructuring and devolution of power in Nigeria as encapsulated on May 2, 2018, at Awka by Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, remains the best framework for a workable Nigerian state which they would stand by the declaration at all times.
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The presidents are Elder Justice R.C Ajuzieogu of Abia state; Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene of Anambra; Hon. Uche Wokobia of Delta state, Comrade Boniface Offor of Ebonyi State, Chief Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia of Enugu State and Prince Igo Okpalanma of Rivers State.
They said that “The endorsement by Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide for the Atiku/Obi Presidential ticket is anchored on the fact that it is only the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, that meets the conditions of the 10-point demands by Ndigbo as contained in the Ekwueme Square Declaration of May 21st 2018 at Awka.
“The further endorsement by Association of South-East Town Union, ASETU, of the Atiku/Obi ticket on Sunday, January 27th 2019 is commendable and indicates a holistic acceptance of the Atiku/Obi ticket by Ndigbo.
“Any call for Ndigbo to boycott the forthcoming presidential election would not be in the best interest of the Igbo nation
“It will be recalled that MASSOB had in 2006 called for Igbo boycott of the national census, which in the final analysis resulted in an embarrassingly low turnout of our people for the exercise and which was used by enemies of the Igbo nation to undermine and shortchange Ndigbo in Nigeria. We cannot allow this scenario to repeat itself again.
“Following from the foregoing, therefore, the state presidents of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, whose names and signatures appear hereunder resoled thus:
“That Ndigbo are better off in a restructured Nigeria, where power is devolved to the federating units. This is the kernel of the Ekwueme Square Declaration of May 21st 2018 at Awka by the Igbo nation.
“That we condemn in the strongest terms any attempt by any self-aggrandising group of Igbo persons that may be recruited by anti-Igbo forces in Nigeria, particularly from the Buhari presidency to retract from this Igbo position.
“That we stand by the suspension of Barrister Uche Okwukwu, the erstwhile Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and warn that any further black leg shall have the same treatment meted out to him/her.
“That we condemn in its entirety any call by any group, especially the IPOB, for our people to boycott the forthcoming general elections. The tragedy of the MASSOB boycott call of the 2006 census exercise in Nigeria is still haunting us as a people. We, therefore, call on all Igbo registered voters both at home and outside the Igbo homeland to come out en masse and vote for the Atiku/Obi ticket
“That we call on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and Security Agencies to ensure free, fair, credible and transparent election and save Nigeria from any post-election crisis.”