…ignore Igbo votes at your own peril—Ndigbo to Nigeria
By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU- IGBO leaders have disclosed that they were designing a post elections strategy that would maintain Igbo solidarity, to ensure that the Igbo are not distracted by those lobbying for positions in government and those positioning to be President in 2023.
They said they were exceedingly proud of Ndigbo on how they voted at the last general elections, where they noted that ministers and prominent Igbo All Progressives Congress, APC, members found out that the community is always bigger than the individual.
The Igbo leaders also stated that they were proud of the principled stand of the Igbo on restructuring as galvanized by Ohanaeze Ndigbo under Chief Nnia Nwodo, which they said resulted in the massive turnout of Ndigbo at the last general elections across states in Nigeria.
The leaders therefore vowed to assist Nwodo to ensure that Nigeria shall continue to feel the weight of Igbo votes until restructuring is accomplished, saying that “those who continued to ignore Igbo votes in Nigeria do so at their risks.”
The Igbo leaders made the statements when their delegation met with the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo in Enugu, Saturday night, to congratulate him for his enlightened, focused and selfless leadership of Ndigbo in the trying period before and during the last elections.
The delegation was led by High Chief Senator Ben Obi and included former governors Achike Udenwa and Okwesilieze Nwodo, Senator Azu Agboti, first Chairman Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu and former Ministers, Chief Dubem Onyia and Processor ABC Nwosu.
The delegation appreciated Nwodo for standing firm on the priority Igbo position for the restructuring of Nigeria based on greater devolution of power and resources from the centre to the federating units and praised the President General for ignoring those they called saboteurs of Igbo course.
They said that Nwodo “has been vindicated by the massive Igbo votes along the direction that Ohanaeze had endorsed.”
The delegation pledged their personal unflinching support and loyalty for Ohanaeze leadership to ensure that the task of restructuring Nigeria for the benefit of all citizens is accomplished.
Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the visit, former Minister for Health, Prof ABC Nwosu said the delegation pleaded with Nwodo to ignore the activities by a few Ndigbo who sabotage the collective Igbo view, noting that “the Igbo votes strongly endorsed Ohanaeze position, but frowned seriously on the sell-out of Ohanaeze Ndigbo by its Secretary General who re recommend should be strongly sanctioned.”
They reiterated that the task of restructuring Nigeria into a nation that works for all its citizens and not just for only a section of its citizens. “This remains the top priority agenda of Ndigbo in Nigeria, and as the Igbo adage says, the jaws do not rest until what is being chewed is finished. The President General must ensure that this burning desire of Ndigbo for the restructuring of Nigeria continues to remain in the front burner of Nigerian politics.
“The task for Ndigbo now, according to the leaders, is to design the post general election agenda to maintain Igbo solidarity such that the Igbo post election agenda is not distracted by those lobbying for positions in government and those positioning to be President in 2023.
“The Igbo wisdom of struggling for where to sleep before fighting for the mat to sleep on should guide our post election strategy.
“The icing on the cake for Ndigbo was the election of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State which clearly showed that Ndigbo are resolved to start to start redressing the wrongs of the last few years from inside Igboland.
“It was clear that Ndigbo are not afraid and will not be afraid in Nigeria whether in Owerri, Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Aba, Enugu, Warri or Asaba to express their full citizenship rights and their dissatisfaction with the way they are being treated politically in Nigeria. The post election thinking of every Onye Igbo must be Igbo renaissance in a Nigeria that works.
“It is important that government must focus on restructuring and the task of nation building where all citizens of Nigeria are equal before the law and have equal opportunities to employment and other economic activities. Those who think that they can be senior and junior Nigerians must be told firmly that they are hallucinating,” the Igbo leaders said.