Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the pan Igbo organisation, has denied a statement credited to its President General, Ambassador Professor George Obiozor, that “Ndigbo will not leave Nigeria whether or not we get the Presidency in 2023.”
The organisation, through a statement by Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, its National Publicity Secretary, described the statement, which also alleged that Obiozor cautioned former Anambra state governor, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife over his threat that Igbos will quit Nigeria if they didn’t get the presidency in 2023, as “illogical, disingenuous” and the antics of “mischief makers,” “agents of darkness” and an “Igbo reprobate.”
Stressing that “Obiozor did not and can never contemplate such gutter statements on the 2023 Igbo project,” Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia noted that the statement, which also claimed that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo President General said that “even if we do not produce the president in 2023, there is 2027, 2031 and that we will wait for those years than threatening to leave our beautiful country,” was from the “pit of hell, mainly fabricated to divert the attention of patriotic Nigerians,” and should be taken for what it is.
Full text of the statement reads:
OHANAEZE NDIGBO PRESS RELEASE—–A DISCLAIMER
The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to an illogical disingenuous statements attributed to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador Professor George Obiozor to the effect that “Ndigbo will not leave Nigeria whether or not we get the Presidency in 2023”. The mischief makers also stated that the “President General has ‘caution’ ‘chief’ Ezeife over his threat that Igbos will quit Nigeria if they didn’t get the presidency in 2023”. The agents of darkness quoted Obiozor saying that “even if we do not produce the president in 2023, there is 2027, 2031 and that we will wait for those years than threatening to leave our beautiful country”.
A brief search on the Internet reveals that the unfounded press release that was falsely credited to Obiozor elicited some invectives and vituperations from the gullible and unsuspecting public on the Facebook account of an Igbo reprobate. It is also very regrettable that some ‘eminent’ persons imprudently swallowed the bait hook, line and sinker. It is therefore based on the above backdrop that I wish to put the records straight.
For the avoidance of doubt, Ambassador Professor George Obiozor did not and can never contemplate such gutter statements on the 2023 Igbo project. He neither granted a press conference nor issued a press release connoting a trivialization of Igbo position for Nigerian Presidency come 2023. For purpose of clarity, to think of a press release in Owerri, Imo State, without the mainstream journalists, more than anything, begs the question.
It is important to recall the last press release by Professor Obiozor wherein he stated that “wherever the country picks its president from in 2023 will send a strong message to Ndigbo and that the 2023 Presidency will determine the Igbo stand in Nigeria”. He added that “Nigerian politics is at a point of no return where national destiny is at stake and where patriotism and political wisdom must supersede personal ambition.” Obiozor pointed out that “since 1960, Igbos have been campaigning for their rights to leadership in Nigeria. So anybody who says that we have not campaigned enough about the ‘2023 President’ is guilty of historical fallacy because many of us know how often those rights and opportunities have been denied or ignored with impunity”. Any discerning mind will see the vintage Obiozor in the above statements and on the contrary, the level the impostors and mischief makers can go in order to malign and tarnish the image of Ohanaeze leadership.
It is worth reiterating, without sounding immodest, that Ambassador Professor George Obiozor remains one of the best diplomats Nigeria has ever produced. He was the Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos for years. He served as the Nigerian High Commissioner to Cyprus; Nigerian Ambassador to the State of Israel and the Nigerian Ambassador to the United States of America. Above all, George Obiozor is an accomplished polyvalent scholar with a specialty on relationship among nations and groups. Obiozor is a strategic and proactive thinker. He is very firm, courageous and tenacious with an extra-ordinary commitment to Igbo cause. I stand on a firm wicket to inform that George Obiozor is God-sent. He came at the most chequered and turbulent period of Igbo history.
The Igbo need a philosopher King in the class of Obiozor to navigate through labyrinth of the Igbo diverse interest groups, complex Nigerian multi-ethnocentric proclivities and more importantly, an intricate global diplomacy. All that Obiozor needs from Nigerians in general and Igbo in particular is maximum co-operation and discerning minds. On the other hand, mischievous statements from the pit of hell, mainly fabricated to divert the attention of patriotic Nigerians should be taken for what they are.
Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide