The Anambra State Governor has washed its hand off the Thursday’s endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Tribune Online earlier reported that Atiku was endorsed during Imeobi, a meeting of the highest decision making body of Ohanaeze, the apex socio-cultural organization of Ndigbo at Nike Lake hotel Enugu.
Some of the reasons for the endorsement included Atiku’s promise on restructuring and his choice of Mr Peter Obi as his running mate.
Obi is the immediate past Governor of Anambra State.
However, addressing a press conference at Golden Tulip hotel Agulu, in Anocha local government Area of the state, the Secretary to the Anambra State Government SSG, Prof. Solomon Osita Chukwulobelu, who spoke on behalf of the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano and who also led a delegation of the State to the Imeobi, said Anambra state was not part of the exercise that endorsed Atiku Abubakar.
He described the development as a divisive trajectory capable of destabilizing Ndigbo Nation.
While faulting Atiku’s endorsement, he said “in compliance with the directive by the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, a delegation of the Anambra State Government arrived at Nike Lake Hotel in Enugu early enough to participate in the meeting of Ime Obi of Ohaneze Ndigbo scheduled to start at 7pm, as agreed on by the Chairman of the South East Governors Forum who is the Ebonyi State Governor, Engr Dave Umahi, and the President General of Ohaneze, Chief John Nnia Nwodo.
“The delegation that was led by me was surprised to learn that the meeting had been held earlier and lasted for a mere 30 minutes. The representative of the Ebonyi State Government, Dr Eric kelechi Igwe, who arrived at the venue before the time the meeting was scheduled to start was also surprised that it had already taken place which has never happened before in the history of the Apex body. The same goes for others like the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, OON.”
He added that “we are, indeed, surprised that the Ime Obi meeting could hold today of all days. We had expected Ohaneze leaders to participate actively in the commissioning ceremony of the Zik Mausoleum, Onitsha, Anambra State. The Mausoleum, which was started by the General Sani Abacha government, took a whole 23 years to complete, but none of the Ohanaeze members was there including John Nnia Nwodo, who he said his Father was made a minister under Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe first Republic Administration.
“We have read bits of the communiqué purportedly issued by the Ohaneze leadership. We regret that they do not reflect the position of the people and Government of Anambra State.
“The position of the Anambra State Government is that Ohaneze should remain a united organization umbrella for all Ndigbo, and should not take sides with any party. There are major leaders in all political parties, including the three major ones in Nigeria, namely, APGA, APC and PDP.
“It is deeply regrettable that the Ohaneze leadership has chosen to go down a divisive trajectory capable of setting back Igbo unity for several years.”
When asked whether Anambra state is planning to pull out of the organization for noninclusion at the meeting, he explains that Anambra state remains the major supporter of the group. Why pulling out? Why we are angry is that the organization (Ohanaeze), would have organized a debate for all the Presidential candidates before reaching an endorsement agreement with any restructuring minded candidate.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr C. Don Adinuba and the Political Adviser to Governor Obiano, Barrister Ifeato Obi Okoye, in their separate reactions explain that the Anambra state government is not and will never be in support of the Atiku/Obi Endorsement because the decision does not reflect the interest of the Igbo.
They said the communiqué was purportedly signed by John Nnia Nwodo and his PDP friends to deceive the Igbo’s in the home and abroad.
So why should there endorsed a man that sabotage the presidential chance of Dr Alex Ekwueme during the PDP primaries that returned Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003, he asked.
To be honest with you if the endorsed candidate eventually fails the election, it will have repercussion on the Igbo’s.
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