Two Ohaneze Ndigbos hold opposing views on Peter Obi’s electoral travails

Peter Obi, Yorubas, vote, Igbos, Lagos, 2023 election, Nigeria
Peter Obi

Two Ohaneze Ndigbos hold opposing views on Peter Obi’s electoral travails

 Two Igbo socio-cultural groups, Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly Worldwide and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, have held two opposing views regarding Nigeria’s presidential election of Saturday, the 25 of February, 2023.

While one agreed that the result of the election indicated that Peter Obi’s loss was divine, the other gave its support to him to fight on for the seat.

Obi was the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP) in the election that held in Nigeria on the 25th of February, 2023.

Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the election and was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Dissatisfied with the outcome, Obi has headed to the Presidential Election Tribunal, insisting he won the election and had proof to that effect.

Obi, a former governor of Anambra state in the Southeastern region, came third behind former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who is also contesting the outcome of the exercise.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly Worldwide’s position

In a statement Sunday in Abuja, the group said “This Igbo umbrella body will continue to remember Obi, former Governor of Anambra State, as one who, despite all odds, laboured hard to actualise a Nigerian President from the Igboland. However, God has not destined it to happen in 2023. It may happen later. God spares the life of everybody.”

Speaking for the first time after the presidential election, the group’s director general of implementation and strategic planning Ambassador Tony Chiemelu Obizoba in the statement expressed confidence in the capability of Tinubu to take over from where President Muhammadu Buhari stopped.

Obizoba said: “The group visualises the success of the APC flagbearer in the election contest as one that will lead to unifying Nigerians for a focused development plan that will follow.

“Tinubu is capable, and we have no doubt in his capacity to ensure the continuity of the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari, which are apparent, indisputably correct and will continue to stand as good legacies for generations of leaders to come.

“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo congratulates Peter Obi for creating an unprecedented commitment to changing the status quo with a hitherto unpopular political party, making great sweeps of votes across all regions but North West of Nigeria to finish an “unputdownable” third position.”

The statement further said: “It would not be out of place to also congratulate the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)‘s presidential candidate, His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar GCON, on his effort that ended in second position. Across the top three political parties were Igbo sons and daughters, who made the frantic effort because, as APC, PDP and LP, there are Igbo people who notably campaigned and voted.

“However, the bloc votes for Peter Obi in the South East should not be seen by anyone as anti-other Nigerians. It is more to show that the Igbo do not hate themselves, as some Nigerians say.

“In all, the general performances of the candidates across parties have given this group the confidence to agree that the emergence of one of them, who is Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is well deserved and we say congratulations!

“We also want to seize this opportunity to call on some elements in Lagos State, who see the vote for Labour Party’s Peter Obi as hate by Igbo people and who are, therefore, now threatening the lives of Igbo. It should not be so. From the investigations by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly Worldwide, the vote in Lagos was not solely an Igbo thing but a decisive voting system by a rainbow movement of people from across the tribes, who live and do business in Lagos State.

“It should be seen more as Nigerians across tribes exercising their franchise to freely vote to choose their leaders in a democracy as enshrined and guaranteed in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Those who are circulating videos, threatening and drumming the sounds of war over the coming governorship and House of Assembly elections of March 11, 2023, in Lagos State because of Igbo people, should stop it in the national interest of Nigeria and the collective good of the masses of the Nigerian people.

“We would not end this press statement without having to extol the grand performance of President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, the General Lucky Irabor-led Nigerian Armed Forces, the IGP Usman Alkali Baba-led Nigeria Police Force and the Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi-led Department of State Service (DSS) as well as the leadership of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for their neutrality that brought whatever challenges emanating from the recent voting exercise to the barest minimum.

“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly Worldwide, therefore, calls on the President, the security forces and security/intelligence agencies to improve on the performances of the last election to make the governorship and national assembly elections of March 11 more commendable.”

Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s position

But the Ohanaeze Ndigbo has expressed optimism that the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, would reclaim his mandate in court.

Speaking with newsmen, the national publicity secretary of the organisation, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, stressed that Ohanaeze is prepared to go the full length with Peter Obi in his quest to retrieve the mandate freely given to him by Nigerians at the polls.

According to him, Nigerians from across the country believed in the LP candidate’s message and mantra that a new Nigeria is possible, hence, their overwhelming support for the Obi-Datti ticket.

He applauded citizens for coming out to vote massively for the Labour Party candidate despite the intimidation and harassment.

“I’m happy Nigeria is moving away from political apathy to a participant political culture. It is a plus because in the third world, Political participation has been a problem and you could see that they participated actively. They couldn’t be suppressed or intimidated. They rather defied all the threats from all the external forces and came even under sunshine and rain. They stood strongly and expressed their wish through their votes. We were impressed because in the past, they did not have confidence in the electoral system and to that extent, there is this political apathy. But they came out fully and voted,” he stated.

Dr Ogbonnia highlighted that Peter Obi is a meticulous person whose personal conviction might not be called to question, indicating that the former Anambra State governor would emerge victorious at the end of the day.

According to him: “I have confidence in that because when he was deprived of his victory sometime in Anambra State, he struggled and assured people that he would recover it. Later on, he recovered that mandate. The same way, it is like history repeating itself.

“Anybody who has known Peter Obi will know that he is always sure of whatever he is doing. He is conscious of whatever position or decision he is taking. He is not a man of frivolities or a man who takes decisions anyhow. He takes a thorough review of his decisions before making it public.”


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