Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has restated its irrevocable endorsement of Mr. Peter Obi as its candidate for the 2023 presidency of Nigeria, advancing seven reasons for its unequivocal position.
In a statement by Dr. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, its National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide said that its endorsement of Obi is based on the fact that it is the turn of the South East zone to produce the president of the country, and on support from eminent patriotic persons and organisations across the country for an Obi presidency.
The apex global Igbo socio-cultural organisation of Ndigbo specifically cited the endorsement of Obi by the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), comprising the Afenifere, PANDEF, Middle Belt Leaders and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, led by an elder-statesman, Chief E K Clarke, and the fact that Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) is a marketable commodity that has been widely embraced by Nigerians.
The group also stressed that “the Ohanaeze support to Obi is not only based on equity and justice but also on merit, competence, track record of accomplishments and the veritable ideas that Obi espouses for a better Nigeria,” pointing out that the Obi movement, which is out “to dismantle or change whatever structure that has brought us to this intractable tragedy and reprehensible denouement; the structure that has been a knee on the neck of Nigerians,” has also long overwhelmed and rested “the impotent debate” that Obi has no structure.
Full text of the statement reads:
2023: On SMBLF Position We Stand
The resolve of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide for the 2023 general election is constant, consistent and very clear; without any form of equivocation whatsoever. In the first place, going by the principles of zoning and rotation of power in Nigeria which has been in existence since 1999, it is the turn of the South East of Nigeria to produce the president in 2023. Second, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has canvassed to various eminent persons in Nigeria, seeking their supports for the presidency to the South East come 2023. We are delighted by the responses from various groups and highly placed patriotic Nigerians. Third, Ohanaeze works in collaboration with the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), comprising the Afenifere, PANDEF, Middle Belt Leaders and Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by an elder-statesman, Chief E K Clarke. The group in its quest for Nigerian unity, peace and sustainable national development has endorsed Mr. Peter Obi as their candidate for the 2023 general elections. Therefore, on the SMBLF endorsement we stand, most irrevocably.
On the other hand, Ohanaeze took a commodity to the market and the world are clamouring for it, we are rather very excited, happy and fulfilled that Nigeria is now in full possession of the commodity.
Four, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Professor George Obiozor explained that Obi has filled what could have been a very sad gap. Therefore, Obi represents the Nigerian conscience, moral probity, generational hope, redemption epiphany and above all, the Igbo collective unconscious. Five, the philosophy of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide finds a cogent expression in the symbol of Nigerian unity and a beacon of hope as epitomized by Mr. Peter Obi.
It needs be added that the Ohanaeze support to Obi is not only based on equity and justice but also on merit, competence, track record of accomplishments and the veritable ideas that Obi espouses for a better Nigeria.
Six, a lot has been said that the Labour Party, especially as it concerns Obi has no structure. It needs to be pointed out that the Obi movement is a massive disruptive reaction against the deplorable Nigerian pathologies. People use the Obi phenomenon to express dissatisfaction with the status quo. It is a revolt against injustice, poverty, unemployment, corruption and all forms of vicious circles that have become the trademark of Nigeria. In other words, every revolution is a structural change. What the Obi movement stands for is to dismantle or change what ever structure that has brought us to this intractable tragedy and reprehensible denouement; the structure that has been a knee on the neck of Nigerians. Importantly, ideas rule the world. Ideas, as you know, possess the potency to develop into an ideology, a movement and finally to a structure. Lastly, the impotent debate on structure has long been overwhelmed and rested by the recent events in Nigeria.
Seven, on the double endorsement by the Afenifere; one faction to Obi and the other to Tinubu. Evidently, history repeats itself on a daily basis. Even in the kingdom of God, there was a faction. One represents light, truth, equity, justice, reasonableness and a bright future while the other represents the very opposites. But, surely, history will always vindicate the just.
Dr. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia,
National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide