2019 Election: Ohanaeze Ndigbo denies endorsing Atiku 

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The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday discounted widespread rumors that the group has endorsed the presidential aspiration of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar. At a press briefing in Enugu to mark its second year in office, the leadership of Ndigbo said rumors making the rounds that Ndigbo was part of the Igbo groups that met in Enugu late last year at a meeting presided over by Prof. Ben Nwabueze to endorse Atiku were false, baseless and entirely without merit; saying, Ndigbo was yet to adopt any candidate. It was further said that the purported endorsement was a way to show gratitude for Atiku picking Mr. Peter Obi as his running mate.

“We did not endorse Atiku Abubakar, neither have we adopted any presidential candidate. We made it clear that we are committed to ensuring the restructuring of Nigeria for the benefit of the people. We have said that we would identify with candidates whose restructuring agenda tallies with our views. We also made it clear that Ohanaeze would meet sometime this month to ventilate the issue and be able to arrive at a conclusion,” the group said at yesterday’s press conference.

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ndigbo, Chuks Ibegbu, and the Special Adviser on Media to the president general of Ndigbo, Chief Emeka Attamah explained that there was no basis yet for the endorsement of any candidate in the election until a meeting that would comprise governors, senators, traditional rulers, among other Imeobi members, is convened before the end of the month. Ndigbo said it would use the proposed meeting to review the programs of the various candidates to know the one that tallies with the issue and make its stand.”

Huhuonline.com understands that the president general of Ndigbo attended a meeting in Enugu, where the group reportedly endorsed Atiku. Sources said the Ndigbo president was away to the United States of America, when he flew in that same day of the meeting in Enugu and was able to attend the meeting based on the invitation extended to him. “When he got in there, resolutions arrived at were foisted on him, but it does not mean that Ohanaeze Ndigbo endorsed Atiku and he made it clear that day that Ohanaeze was going to meet at a later date on the restructuring issue and the party that answers to the call of not just Ohanaeze Ndigbo but even the southern leaders forum which Ohanaeze is a part of. So it is erroneous to say that Ohanaeze Ndigbo has endorsed Atiku”, the group insisted yesterday.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo stated that within the last two years, it had been able to build bridges with other ethnic nationalities in the country, initiated and pursued restructuring to make it a national mantra, restored the dignity of Igbo race in Nigeria as well as handled explosive issues like quit notice issued to Igbo in the north, pro-Biafra agitations, Fulani herdsmen/farmers crisis in Igbo land and Operation Python Dance. The group listed lack of understanding among Igbo people and funding as the greatest challenges it had faced, noting that Ndigbo would achieve more if they were united.

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