The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, and the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu, have described the endorsement of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo as partisan.
Ngige said what played out was a mere congregation of party men, that hurriedly took a decision without due consultation of the real Ime-Obi Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
The Labour and Employment minister made his feeling known in a telephone interview with journalists yesterday in Awka.
The minister said the meeting was constituted by the President-General of the union with members of the PDP to pass the resolution in favour of Atiku.
“The purported decision of Ohanaeze endorsing Atiku of the PDP as the Ndigbo choice was a distraction and should be disregarded by well-meaning Igbo sons and daughters.
“The decision was ill-conceived and should be ignored by Ndigbo as it’s a decision propelled by PDP members in Ohanaeze Ndigbo, hurriedly taken to drum support for their party members in the coming election,” he said.
Ngige expressed disappoint-ment that the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation would degenerate into meddling in partisan politics.
He said that the people of the South-east have spoken in the rallies attended by hundreds of thousands of Igbo citizens in Enugu and Onitsha as to their political choice.
On his part, Okechukwu yesterday in Enugu lambasted the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, John Nnia Nwodo over last week’s endorsement of Atiku and his running mate, Mr. Peter Obi, by Ohanaeze Ndigbo, insisting that such endorsement did not enjoy the support of Ndigbo.
Okechukwu accused Nwodo of rigging the constitution of Ohaneze in the purported endorsement.
The VON DG said Nwodo deliberately sidelined the General Assembly, which is the Supreme Organ of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, going by Article 10, subsection VI of Ohaneze’s constitution.
The VON DG was reacting to the controversial endorsement of Atiku/Obi ticket of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last week and the attendant fury and outrage of Governor Wily Obiano, Ken Nnamani, Chris Ngige, Geofrey Onyeama and a host of other prominent Igbo leaders.
He said the outrage of Igbo leaders over the endorsement, was justified, as the collective interest of Ndigbo nationwide was atrophied.
According to him, Nwodo acted arbitrarily in “Rambo” style and utterly circumvented Ohanaeze constitution in endorsing Atiku/Obi PDP ticket.
He insisted that Ime Obi could have first drawn a checklist of Igbo Charter of demands and hand over to the two leading contenders -Buhari and Atiku and convene General Assembly meeting to decide, but this was not done.
“The tremendous respect one has for our elder brother, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo worldwide perished when reports crept in on Thursday, January 24, 2019, on how he regrettably rigged the Constitution of Ohaneze and by extension Ndigbo worldwide by recklessly endorsing Atiku/Obi ticket.
“Going through his communiqué the first question is where is the collective search, the critical and dispassionate appraisal in Nwodo’s endorsement, when in Rambo Style he deliberately sidelined the General Assembly, which going by Article 10, subsection vi of the Ohaneze Constitution is the Supreme Organ of Ohaneze Ndigbo?”