Ohanaeze Reinforces Support, Endorsement Of Atiku/Obi Ticket
Sets up Situation Room
The apex socio-cultural organisation of the Igbo Nation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has reiterated its “unequivocal support and endorsement” for the Atiku Abubakar/Peter Obi presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] for the forthcoming February 23 presidential election.
Ohanaeze declared this in a communiqué issued today, Thursday, February 21st, 2019, at an emergency meeting of Igbo stakeholders at Enugu, signed by its President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo.
The endorsement followed its earlier stance on the PDP candidate as already announced by the national leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Alaigbo Development Foundation, (ADF, and other Igbo interest groups like the Association of South-East Town Unions (ASETU).
During the meeting, the pan-Igbo group called on all Igbo registered voters both at home and outside the Igbo homeland to come out en masse, join all patriotic Nigerians of other ethnic nationalities, and vote for the Atiku/Obi ticket.
He said that “this election is our collective struggle for freedom and we must count it all joy to be part of history”.
He also called on all Ndigbo, the International community and election observers to join in monitoring the activities of soldiers during the electioneering period.
This, according to him, is to ensure that all their activities are strictly in accordance with the Law.
Nwodo further stated that a Situation Room has been set up to collate all data and information, graphic and otherwise arising from any misconduct.
A special committee of experts, he stressed, have also been set up to sort, analyze and categorize the information collated for actionable responses.
Read the communiqué issued on Thursday, February 21 during the emergency meeting of Igbo stakeholders at Enugu below:
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide in collaboration with Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) convened an emergency meeting of Igbo Stakeholders today, February 21st 2019 at Enugu, the aim of which is to exhaustively review recent events in the Nigerian polity as they relate to Ndigbo in particular, especially in the aftermath of the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections in the country; And to express the solidarity and commitment of all Pan-Igbo groups and stakeholders to work together in view of the dire situation facing Nigeria in general and Ndigbo in particular. Despite the extreme shortness of the invitation worthy Igbo sons and daughters thronged the venue and agreed as follows:
All pan-Igbo organizations and stakeholders including IPOB and MASSOB commit to work together in the spirit of onye-aghana-nwanneya even in the face of existential threat confronting us as a people.
We view with utmost concern the explosive political situation in Nigeria as it appears the country is sliding downhill and this portends greater danger of collective immolation with catastrophic consequences for the country.
We urge all Ndigbo in their various places of abode in Nigeria and elsewhere to continue to live in orderly and peaceful co-existence with their neighbours in the manner we are well-known as a people but refuse to be intimidated by anybody.
We agree that the irreducible minimum for Ndigbo that will be acceptable for their continued participation in the Nigerian enterprise will be a renegotiated and restructured Nigeria based on EQUALITY, EQUITY and JUSTICE and for the component regions and individuals who will live under it authority.
It must be one that ensures SELF-DETERMINATION for the various nationalities, regional autonomy and freedom of the component regions to manage and control their political environment and resources and worship their God without let or hindrance, consequently our demand for the total restructuring of the Nigerian polity as encapsulated in the Ekwueme Square Awka Declaration by Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and its ADF-facilitated Enugu affirmation endorsed by many Igbo groups, remain the best framework for a workable Nigerian state and we stand by those declarations at all times.
We note that only one political party, has so far committed to the Restructuring of Nigeria, based on the manifesto released by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that meets substantially the demands for a just society where ethnicities, regions and sections of society are allowed to relate as they wish, make progress at their own pace, without interference by the others.
Therefore Ndigbo, reiterate our unequivocal support and endorsement for the Atiku/Obi presidential ticket as already announced by the national leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Alaigbo Development Foundation, (ADF, and other Igbo interest groups like the Association of South-East Town Unions (ASETU), etc.
That we call on all Igbo registered voters both at home and outside the Igbo homeland to come out en masse join all patriotic Nigerians of other ethnic nationalities and vote for the Atiku/Obi ticket. This election is our collective struggle for freedom and we must count it all joy to be part of history.
We note with great disappointment the inciting comments by certain persons in authority, which directly fuel security concerns about the safety of Ndigbo, both inside and outside Igbo land, both during and after the general elections. We also note the proliferating presence of able bodied young men of questionable intent, doing no serious business, who have flooded all nooks and crannies of our homeland.
We urge all town Unions in Igboland to be very vigilante to monitor and control the movement and activities of all persons in their domain and report all untoward activities to the appropriate quarters for analysis and action.
We urge Ndigbo in their places of abode in Nigeria and elsewhere, to continue to live peaceably and go about their civic duties in an orderly and exemplary manner, for which we are well known, but refuse to be intimidated by anybody.
We note with great apprehension, the massive mobilization and deployment of soldiers within all enclaves in Igboland; we also note that there is no constitutional provision for the deployment of soldiers for electioneering purposes and therefore advise that every effort must be made to ensure that these soldiers do not engage in the harassment of the public going about their lawful civic responsibilities.
We call on all Ndigbo, the International community and election observers to join us in monitoring the activities of these soldiers during this period to ensure that all their activities are strictly in accordance with the Law.
That no one should doubt the resolve of Ndigbo to hold every corporate and individual miscreant personally responsible for any unlawful conducts and pursue such with every resource at our disposal and for however long it will take us, at international levels.
That a Situation Room has been set up to collate all data and information, graphic and otherwise arising from any misconduct.
That a special committee of experts have also been set up to sort, analyze and categorize the information collated for actionable responses.
That we condemn, in its entirety, the manner in which the elections were postponed by INEC. This has had deleterious impact on our national economy.
That we call on the Federal Government to ensure the safety of Ndigbo especially those living in northern Nigeria and other parts of the country; and call to order any public officer that may, through words or actions, be promoting violence.
Finally, we commend the avowed interest of the international community in having credible elections in Nigeria. As Ndigbo, we invite their direct humanitarian intervention in whatever ways that the need may arise in Nigeria.
Chief Nnia Nwodo,
President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo