—Denies calling Igbos supporting LP Presidential candidate saboteur
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, ABUJA
FORMER Imo State Governor, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has said that he shares close political affinity and has the utmost respect for the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi.
Ihedioha, who was also a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, also denied referring to Ndigbo supporting Obi’s presidential ambition as saboteurs.
This is coming on the heels of a video that has gone viral where the former Imo State Governor was said to have castigated supporters of Obi in Southeast.
The viral video has attracted serious criticisms and attacks on the former Deputy Speaker’s personality.
But Ihedioha in a statement on Wednesday which was made available to Vanguard said that he respects the plurality of opinions and choices.
The statement issued by his media aide, Chibuike Onyeukwu read:
“Few days ago, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON, on the invitation of his kinsmen, was in Accra, Ghana to celebrate this year’s Iri Ji festival with the Mbaise community in that country.
“As a founding member and one of the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he seized the opportunity of that visit to address PDP issues nationally but particularly in Imo State and assuage the anxiety of the members of his party who have been apprehensive of the developments within the party.
“In doing so, he decried what at best is the insouciant attitude and worse, the outright sabotage of some acclaimed party leaders who are engaging in acts that are inimical to the success of the PDP, especially in the Southeast by working in cahoots with the other parties. He was only talking about members of his own political party.
“For clarity purposes, His Excellency, never referred to members of any other political party, especially the Labour Party as saboteurs. He only spoke in the context of the PDP and the emphasis was on the need for members of his party to remain consistent and committed.
“It is inconceivable that he will refer to anybody who is supporting Mr. Peter Obi, Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, his long time friend, with whom he shares close political affinity and has utmost respect for, as a saboteur.”
Regretting that his statement was misconstrued, he said, “It is unfortunate that his well-intentioned speech which addressed the specific issue of happenings within his own political party was, again, manipulated by fifth columnists to suit their mischievous scheme of bringing him on a collision with Mr. Peter Obi, whose unwavering political philosophy of “Taking Back Nigeria” from the draconian stranglehold of the failed ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, he wholeheartedly shares.
“His Excellency respects the aspirations and passion of members of other political parties, even as he remains committed to the cause of his own political party and it is not in his character to cast aspersions on those who hold contrary political opinion.”