THE Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has slammed the All Progressives Congress and the People’s Democratic Party for not zoning their presidential tickets to the southeast.
This is even as they said the two major parties betrayed them and raised blames against the parties for conspiring to deny them the slots.
Chairman of Council of Elders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, spoke while briefing newsmen in Abuja, during its extraordinary meeting.
According to him, the Council of Elders were disappointed with the two parties because they denied the Igbos opportunity to produce a presidential candidate.
He said, “The Ohanaeze Council of elders are very disappointed. We are disappointed because there seem to be a conspiracy by the two major political parties to deny Igbos the opportunity to produce a presidential candidate.
“The parties all agreed that the zoning should be north and south and Ohanaeze believes that if it’s coming to the south, since southwest has gone, south south has gone, it’s now our turn. Ohanaeze did everything possible to convince the southwest and convince the south south and they all agreed that it will be the turn of southeast.
“Their leaders, Pa Adebanjo and Chief Edwin Clark, all of them, made press statements and confirmed that they support Igbo candidate, even the middle belt supported Igbo candidacy. But unfortunately the political class took another.
“We feel terribly betrayed, not by the elders but by these political people because we are sure that the elders in whole of south and middle belt supported Igbo candidacy.”
He (Iwuanyanwu) attributed the failure of Nigeria to produce southeast presidency to the constitution, saying that the constitution added to the problem, urging the federal government to include zoning.
“So it is our view that this zoning should be put in the constitution and should be rotated among the six geo-political zones. Question of making it north and south is very vain, after all federal character is very clear.
“We are not very happy and we are suggesting to federal government that this must be in the constitution. However, the elders of ohanaeze want Nigerians to know that as far as we are concerned we are major Stakeholders in this country, we are the only tribe that are cut across the 36 states and the FCT.
“We are not going to abandon Nigeria, we are the biggest investors in any part of this country, we are not withdrawing from politics, we are going to participate in political activities. But let it be known to Nigerians that Igbos are going to participate in the 2023 elections,” he stressed.
To this end, he stated emphatically that Ohanaeze has only one structure headed by Professor George Obiozor with its Secretary-General, Ambassador Okey Emuche and that Nigerians should disown other factions.
His words, “Ohanaeze has only one structure headed by Professor George Obiozor and the Secretary-General is Amb. Okey Emuche . The elders are worried that some people make statements on behalf of our Ohanaeze, we want Nigerians to ignore them, the only people authorised to make statements on behalf of Ohanaeze is Prof. Obiozor or his Secretary-General.”