'We have not endosed any candidate' - Ohaneze
The caretaker committee of Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation has distanced itself from endorsement of any of the presidential candidates in the general elections.
In a statement after its meeting in Enugu on Thursday and read by chairman of the caretaker committee, Chief Raph Obioha, said the body has engaged itself in wide and extensive consultations on vital issues of security of life and property of Ndigbo before and during and after the election, callous neglect of Igbo territory, demand for reparation for atrocities committed against the Igbo over the years among others.
“These are the important issues that we must discuss with the presidential candidates before we can commit Ndigbo wholesale to any candidate. There are two principal candidates for the election namely President Goodluck Jonathan and Gen. Mohammed Buhari (RTD). On the issue security of life and property, we reached out to Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF and suggested a meeting between their leaders and Ohaneze leaders but they showed no interest declaring that they saw no need for such a meeting. We consider the security of life and property of Ndigbo in any part of the country.”
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He said the Igbos have no concrete agreement with any of the presidential candidates on any of the cardinal issues and therefore Ohaneze Ndigbo would not commit Igbo voters at home and everywhere to the blanket support of any of the Presidential Candidates.
“Only one of the presidential candidates has sent a delegation to us and we insisted on seeing the candidates himself because whatever agreements to be reached will be implemented by him, if he wins and becomes President and not the high level delegates. We have not seen the candidate as at this date. The other presidential candidate has not made contact with this committee which is the authentic legal organ of Ohaneze. If his belief is in some other areas or persons to gather the Igbo nation into one basket, we can only wish him goodluck.”
It urged the Igbos to be vigilant during and after the election and make appropriate arrangement to save their life and property, “in view of the ominous uncertainties that loom in the air, Igbo Governors should make arrangement separately and collectively to evacuate Igbo citizens who may be trapped in an area of violence.”
It would be recalled that earlier in the week, Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, led by President-General of the group, Chief Garry Igariwey endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan for the second tenure in office in Umuahia, while briefing Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia, and the chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum.
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