The Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, is no longer an “Igbo project,” according to the largest Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.
Chief Alex Ogbonnia, the organisation’s national publicity secretary, claimed that the Igbo had “exported him to the rest of Nigeria” and that Nigerians had “accepted and domesticated” him.
In order to further consultation and solidify plans for an Igbo president in 2023, some Igbo elders recently paid visits to the Sultan of Sokoto and Muhammad Abubakar, President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs. This is the context in which he spoke.
According to Prof. Charles Nwekeaku, Secretary-General of the Igbo Elders Consultative Forum, the Igbo feel “betrayed by the Peoples Democratic Party, amongst other political groups.”
He claimed that Obi, who he claimed had the support of northerners, provided the Igbo with a different path to the presidency in 2023.
According to Ogbonnia, “As you must have heard, some Igbo elders are doing some consultations. We are still insisting on the Igbo presidency. In the first place, if you watch the polity, you will see a lot of advocacies about the Igbo presidency by Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
“We, the Igbo people, are so happy. We brought out our goods in the market, and Nigerians bought them. What else do you expect us to do? We are happy. All Igbo are happy.
“Throughout last year and the year before, we have been talking about the Igbo presidency. Ohanaeze struggled to bring it to the fore. Luckily for us, Nigerians have bought it and domesticated it. Our product has been purchased.
“It is clear that the candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, is no longer an Igbo project. He is now a national project. Ohanaeze has pushed out the matter to the rest of Nigeria,” he said.
In the meantime, Chief Solomon Ogbonna-Aguene, the factional chairman of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos Branch, claimed that Igbo voters would only support a candidate with the interests of the South-East area at heart.
Additionally, he cautioned Lagos-based Igbo natives not to “place all of their eggs in one basket” while seeking to support a presidential candidate.
He claimed that Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Lagos had decided to support only a presidential candidate who would improve their lives and change their circumstances.
Ndigbo in Lagos shouldn’t put all of their eggs in one basket, according to Ogbonna-Aguene. We need to be careful with our words. You should be able to improve your life to whoever wins the election. Additionally, we need to identify the Ndigbo-focused individual who puts Ndigbo first. We will vote for that person to be president.