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THE Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the Igbo socio-cultural group, has threatened that the South East will boycott the 2023 general elections if the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fail to produce presidential candidates of Igbo extraction.
The group’s youth wing also slammed the Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, for withdrawing from the presidential race and endorsing the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, a presidential aspirant from the North East.
But Kalu said the South East could not get the presidential ticket of any party in an open contest without a gentleman agreement to concede it to the zone.
“The decision of PDP for an open contest and jettisoning the zoning formula shows the height of deception, treachery and deceit against Ndigbo after milking Igbo votes for 22 years,” the group’s factional Secretary General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said in a statement yesterday.
“Without the Igbo as presidential flagbearers in APC and PDP, there will be a total boycott of the 2023 elections through sit-at-home,” he added.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths have criticised the decision of a former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, for withdrawing from the presidential race.
The group described the politician’s action as betrayal to the people of the South East who were agitating for Nigeria’s presidency.
Its National Publicity Secretary, Mazika Art Adiele, in a statement yesterday, said, “Sadly, the unfortunate news of Orji Uzor Kalu’s endorsement of Senator Ahmed Lawan, the current senate president, is not just a betrayal of our cause, but a threat to the fragile peace of this country.”
Meanwhile, Kalu said without zoning the South East could not get the ticket of any party in an open contest.
The lawmaker, who represents Abia North Senatorial District, stated this yesterday in a statement he signed and explained his reasons for backing Lawan.
Responding to an elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, who accused him of betraying the Igbo, Kalu said he had been at the forefront agitating for a Nigerian president of South East extraction when others were saying “Southern Presidency”.
He further said, “The truth is, Chief Edwin Clark knows the South East cannot get the ticket of any party in an open contest as it is today without a gentleman agreement to concede it to the South East.”
He added that a number of PDP members were secretly supporting an aspirant from the North East so that the South East might produce the next president in eight years instead of waiting for 16 years.
By Abdullateef Salau (Abuja), Nabob Ogbonna (Abakaliki) & Bassey Willie (Yenagoa)
- May 13, 2022 @ 09:51 GMT |
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