On Thursday, the Apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo cleared the air on rumors linked to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
As per the rumors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo was part of the Igbo group that met at a meeting in Enugu, which was managed by the Constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze to endorse Atiku, late last year. Further it came that the supposed endorsement was a way to express gratitude for Atiku, picking Peter Obi as his running mate.
However, these rumors have been abandoned by Ohanaeze Ndigbo. At a news conference in Enugu, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Chuks Ibegbu said that the organization did not endorse Atiku.
The organization said, “We did not endorse Atiku Abubakar, neither have we adopted any presidential candidate. We made it clear that we are committed to ensuring the restructuring of Nigeria for the benefit of the people.”
It explained, “The president general, who was away to the United States of America, flew in that same day of the meeting in Enugu and was able to go for the meeting based on the invitation extended to him. When he got in there, resolutions arrived at were foisted on him, but it does not mean that Ohanaeze Ndigbo endorsed Atiku.”
The group insisted that it was made clear “that Ohanaeze was going to meet at a later date on the restructuring issue and the party that answers to the call of not just Ohanaeze Ndigbo but even the southern leaders forum which Ohanaeze is a part of. So it is erroneous to say that Ohanaeze Ndigbo has endorsed Atiku.”
According to the statements, Ohanaeze Ndigbo would be meeting this month “to ventilate the issue and be able to arrive at a conclusion.”
This is no basis for the endorsement of any candidate in the election yet, according to Chuks Ibegbu, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary and the Special Adviser on Media to the president general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emeka Attamah.
Ibegbu said that the decision is on hold until a meeting comprising of governors, senators, traditional rulers and other Imeobi members, takes place before end of this month.
The meeting is being convened to review the programmes of various candidates so as to identify the one that tallies with the issue and make its stand.