THE Secretary-General of the apex-Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Uche Okwukwu, has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari as the choice candidate of Ohanaeze.
Okwukwu, had earlier described as a lie and activities of fifth columnists, the endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo as its choice.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Nnia Nwodo had on Thursday January 24, announced the endorsement of Abubakar as the choice candidate of the association after a meeting of Ime -Obi at the Nike Lake Hotel, Enugu. According to him, Abubakar earned that choice because of his commitment to restructuring and for nominating an Igbo man, Peter Obi as his running mate.
In a statement Tuesday, presidential aide Mallam Shehu Garba claimed that Okwukwu announced the adoption of Buhari as the true Ohanaeze candidate “who would be formally recognised as such at a coming event at the Aso Rock Villa” and that “those claiming that the apex Igbo group endorsed the PDP candidate were on their own.”
Garba also celebrated the endorsement of Buhari by the chairman of Aba Traditional Council, Dr Isaac Ikonne, Enyi 1 of Aba, who had called on all indigenes of Abia to vote for Buhari.
In dismissing the endorsement of Abubakar by Ohanaeze, Okwukwu said that members of Ohanaeze “were not informed ahead of the meeting, neither was a communique committee responsible for drafting the resolution arising from the meeting set up.”
He said, “Ohanaeze Ndigbo never held a meeting of the Ime-Obi where we endorsed any candidate for the 2019 presidential election.
“Secondly, if we organize the Ime-Obi meeting, we inform members beforehand and in the meeting, we also set up a communique committee that drafts the resolution or communique arising from the meeting which will be presented before the general house for ratification.
“No such thing was done and anybody purporting to have had any Ime-Obi meeting where Atiku Abubakar was endorsed as our presidential candidate is on his own.”
Okwukwu, who revealed that the association would soon hold the Ime-Obi meeting where it would discuss the presidential candidate to endorse, has decided to back the APC presidential candidate.
“But in the interest of Ndigbo we should support President Muhammadu Buhari for the second term and that is the only way to get to our promise Land,” he said.