By Toby Prince
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has joined their counterparts from the north, Miyetti Allah in rejecting Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Fulani Socio-Cultural Association had last week called on Nigerians to back president Muhammadu Buhari instead of his direct rival and the Ohanaeze has followed suit.
Some prominent Igbo elders, led by a renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, had publicly thrown their weight behind the ex-vice president in November.
However, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Mr Chuks Ibegbu on Thursday in Enugu denounced the PDP candidate.
“It is erroneous to say that we endorsed Atiku. Ohanaeze Ndigbo did not endorse anybody. That meeting at Nike Lake Resort was organised by friends of Atiku,” he said.
“However, due to our peculiar circumstance in the country, we will identify with candidates that will restructure Nigeria if voted into power.”
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been canvassing for our people to identify with candidates that will restructure Nigeria.
“We still stand on that and in the next few days we shall meet to take a holistic position on the elections,” he said.
Ibegbu noted that within the two years in the office of the Chief John Nwodo led Ohanaeze Ndigbo, “we have given our modest contribution by re-jigging Igbo leadership and issues concerning our people”.
He said that the current leadership of the organisation had built synergy with its affiliate groups with a view to achieving unity in the area.
He said that the dexterity and leadership acumen of Nwodo had positively affected the relationship between the organisation and other ethnic socio-cultural associations in the country.