A meeting of the Igbo leaders under the auspices of Nkpoko Igbo was held at the Nike Lake Hotel, Enugu, on Wednesday.
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo and the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, were at the meeting.
Also in attendance were Sen. Ben Obi, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Sen. Chris Anyanwu, Chief Achike Udenwa, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Prof. Anya O. Anya, Emeka Ugwu-Oji, Amb. Frank Ogbuewu, Amb. Lawrence Nwuruku, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, Prof. A.B.C. Nwosu, Prof. Uche Azikiwe, Amb. George Obiozor and former Ohanaeze President-General, Chief Gary Igariwey.
Others included Lt.Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (retd), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Prof. Osita Ogbu, Dr. Okwesileze Nwodo, Chief Felix Mgbada, Archbishop Maxwell Anikwenwa, Prof Walter Ofonagoro, Commodore James Anieke (retd), Chief Abel Chukwu, Prof Amucheazi, Prof. Uzodimma Nwala, Amb. Lawrence Agubuzo, Chief Adolphus Wabara, among others.
The meeting, chaired by renowned constitutional lawyer, Nwabueze, has restructuring of Nigeria and the agenda for the Igbo in 2019 as its main thrust.
Tagged ‘Ahamaefula’, the summit was said to be the “beginning of a new struggle to assert Igbo full citizenship in Nigeria”.
In a communique read after the summit, Igbo leaders resolved to support the Presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Mr. Peter Obi in the 2019 presidential election.
They said that they would identify with Atiku and his deputy because of their promise to restructure the country along geopolitical zones.
The communique read on behalf of Ndigbo by Chief Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), and titled ‘Ndigbo 2019 and beyond Summit’, read: “The Igbo people of Nigeria held a one day non-partisian and inclusive summit, convened by elders, traditional and religious leaders on November 14, 2018, to consider Ndigbo’s place in the polity, especially in the light of the forthcoming 2019 elections.
“The summit deliberated on the state of Ndigbo in Nigeria today, especially after years of exclusion from the centre.
“This country has never been so divided as it is today.
“We, Igbo, have always yearned for a level playing field with justice, equity and fairness.
“The summit recognised the nomination of His Excellency Mr. Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra state as the vice presidential candidate of the PDP and fully endorse this nomination.
“It was acknowledged that this nomination puts Ndigbo back to the centre of governance.
“It is therefore important that Ndigbo should rally behind the Atiku/Obi ticket.
“We identify with Atiku/Obi ticket on the restructuring agenda as has been reiterated by the four zones of the country, namely South-South, South west, North central and South east.
“We believe that as long as the federating units remain weak, the centre will continue to be weak.
“We equally move to appreciate the position of the Atiku/Obi ticket in promoting national unity.
“In conclusion, the summit reiterated that the time is now for Ndigbo to mobilise and organise effectively, to realise the Atiku/Obi ticket.
“We are not campaigning against anybody, we are simply campaigning for our very survival.
“Igbo votes must count wherever we live in Nigeria.”