an-Igbo socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has stated that it was not bothered by the inability of Igbo political leaders to hold their bipartisan meeting in Enugu last weekend.
The group said many factors may have been responsible for the botched meeting and that having thought about coming together in unity to talk about producing the president of South East Igbo extraction in 2023 makes Ohanaeze happy since it was her aspiration too.
The National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnaya, who made the assertion while responding to questions from Sunday Telegraph in Enugu, explained that there were many past presidents of Nigeria, who got to the position not because they started campaigns and mobilization early.
He said: “It (bipartisan meeting) was a spontaneous meeting based on internal agreement and arrangement to hold such a meeting and that added value to the political unity of Ndigbo.
So, as far as I’m concerned, that it didn’t hold the other time due to poor attendance like you said, something must have been responsible. “For example, Ike Ekweremadu lost his brother; there are many other instances like that, which perhaps, might have affected the meeting.
So, since they had that understanding that no matter which political party somebody comes from, that they should be seen to be united trying to pursue Nigerian president of South East Igbo extraction in 2023; that’s Ohanaeze aspiration, that’s Ohanaeze agenda, and we are working very seriously to make sure we attain it.
“What people may not have seen now was somebody coming to campaign for presidency just like you have Atiku Abubakar and the rest of them.
“But if you watch the ascendency of people like Shehu Shagari, he didn’t get it because he started campaigning early. The same thing happened with the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
He didn’t get it because he started campaigning early. Tell me any person who has been the president of this country that campaigned early. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo came out from prison and became the president.
So, it’s not about early campaign or mobilization that makes somebody president, no. “What may be happening now as people see it is that there has not been any prominent campaign. I don’t want that to form the basis of judgment.
“So now I tried to explain two things, one; that the meeting didn’t receive full attendance the other time could be because of some other factors. But the important thing is that they had agreed to pursue that goal, and like I said that’s Ohanaeze’s goal too.
And I also said that somebody who has not been campaigning for presidency now does not in any way imply that it will not eventually come to us or that there are not people who are interested.
“And somebody would say why Ohanaeze, I said, no; Ohanaeze is an interventionist group in politics. We are not apolitical, we campaign when it becomes necessary but in the process of the primaries and all that, partisanship and so on, we don’t come in. But at critical issues, we come and say this is our position.
We try to take a helicopter view of what is happening politically and we take a position based on what we want. It is wrong for Ohanaeze to be apolitical. No, no, no we cannot be.
In a country like Nigeria, how can the leadership be apolitical? No. Any political party that picks political candidate from Igbo, becomes our party.”
Credit: New Telegraph