The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has said that the Labor Party presidential flag bearer, Peter Obi, is no longer an “Igbo project.”
The organization’s national publicity secretary, head Alex Ogbonnia, said the Igbo had “exported him to the rest of Nigeria”, adding that Nigerians had “accepted and domesticated him”.
He spoke on the background of the recent visit of some Igbo elders to the sultan of Sokoto and the president-general of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, Muhammad Abubakar, to intensify the consultations and concretize plans for a president from the Igbo extraction in 2023.
The Secretary General of the Igbo Elders Consultative Forum, Prof. Charles Nwekeaku, had said: The PUNCH that the Igbo “felt betrayed by the People’s Democratic Party, among other political parties.”
According to him, the Igbo have found another route to the 2023 presidency through Obi, who he says had gained the support of northerners.
Respond, Ogbonnia, in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, supported the elderly.
He said: “As you must have heard, some Igbo elders do some consultation. We are still pushing for the Igbo presidency. First of all, if you look at the polity, you will see a lot of pleas about the Igbo presidency by Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
“We, the Igbo people, are so happy. We marketed our goods and Nigerians bought them. What else do you expect from us? We are happy. All Igbos are happy.
“Last year and the year before we talked about the Igbo presidency. Ohanaeze struggled to bring it up. Lucky for us, Nigerians have bought and domesticated it. Our product has been purchased.
“Obviously the Labor Party candidate, Peter Obi, is no longer an Igbo project. He is now a national project. Ohanaeze has pushed the matter to the rest of Nigeria,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo faction leader Lagos Branch Chief Solomon Ogbonna-Aguene said Igbo people would only vote for a candidate with the Southeast region’s interest at heart.
He also advised the Igbo natives in Lagos not to “put their eggs in one basket” as they tried to support a presidential candidate.
He said Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Lagos had agreed to vote only for a presidential candidate who would improve Ndigbo’s life in Lagos.
Ogbonna-Aguene said: “Ndigbo in Lagos are not allowed to put their eggs in one basket. We must be aware of what we say. Whoever you vote for should be able to change your life for the better. Also, we need to know the person with Ndigbo’s interest at heart; someone who gives priority to Ndigbo. That is the one we will vote for the presidency.