- Ohanaeze’s Endorsement Of Atiku/Obi Is Political 419 — C. Don Adinuba
Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Anambra State Chapter of Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign Organization has made its position clear to the general public that the dissociation of Governor Willie Obiano from the decision of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo is only personal and does not represent the opinion and decision of the entire Ndi-Anambra.
The organization maintained that it was unthinkable and suicidal for any right-thinking Igbo person to divorce himself from the only Igbo body that protects their interest in the country.
Director-General of the Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign Organization in Anambra state Dr. Harry Oranezi made this known in a press release issued to journalists in Awka on Tuesday.
He said one was entitled to his freedom of expression and association which, according to him, showed the original intention of the governor to work against the interest of Ndigbo.
Oranezi however hailed the courage of the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in not sitting on the fence in a matter that concerned the Igbo nation.
The Director-General of the Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign Organization said Gov. Willie Obiano was not being truthful to himself and had equally forgotten that his personal interest should not override the collective interest of the people.
He said the governor had made his choice but the entire Ndi-Anambra would move on without him. He added that the entire citizenry would forever be part of every decision that would better their lot and that every Anambra citizen was in solidarity with Chief Nnia Nwodo and Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Meanwhile, the Anambra State Government has made its position clear on the recent endorsement of the presidential and vice presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi respectively by Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
The state commissioner for information and public enlightenment Mr. C. Don Adinuba who made the position of the state government public at a press briefing in Awka on Tuesday, said the decision and actions of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization could best be described as ‘political 419 ‘ .
The commissioner explained that it had been shown that endorsements by Ohanaeze had proved abortive overtime; that some of the people they endorsed in time past never won elections. He recalled that when Ohanaeze endorsed Olu Falae in 1992, he lost the election and that the organization also endorsed Goodluck Jonathan but he failed in the said election.
He said the statement issued by Ohanaeze was unrealistic and controversial pointing out that statements issued by the organization were signed by the president and secretary-general but expressed concern that only the president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo signed the statement showing its endorsement of Peter Obi as vice presidential candidate. He described the endorsement as having little relevance.
Adinuba considered the decision of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to hold parallel meeting on the day President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the Zik Mausoleum as not only an act of sabotage but also an act of sacrilege, noting that Zik was the first and only patron of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
He therefore argued that the least expected of the apex socio-cultural organization was to join other Nigerians to celebrate the life and times of the Great Zik of Africa but they were embarrassed and disenchanted that Ohaneze disrespected the late sage and went ahead with their alleged clandestine meeting where they expressed loyalty and allegiance to Atiku and Obi.
The commissioner further disclosed that Zik’s Mausoleum was started about 23 years ago and abandoned by successive governments but president Buhari completed and commissioned it.
According to him, the late Zik of Africa established the first steel company in West Africa called Niger Steel Emene Enugu State; that he also established the first gas factory in West Africa known as Niger Gas and equally built the first cement factory in Nigeria called Niger Cem. The commissioner said others included the first indigenous bank called African Continental Bank, the University of Nigeria Nsukka and the West African Pilot newspaper.
The Anambra State image maker recalled that the late Zik made the father of John Nnia Nwodo a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that the Nwodo family was a great beneficiary of Zik’s magnanimity and benevolence, stressing that what the president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide did was an outright display of ingratitude and dishonesty.
He therefore emphasized the need for Ohanaeze Ndigbo to refrain from endorsing presidential candidates and remain a cultural organization not a political party or a political pressure group.
The commissioner also admonished the organization to maintain neutrality in all its concerns and not display any form of partisanship to any individual or group as such act would amount to nepotism and unnecessary favouritism contrary to the doctrines of the socio-cultural organization.