Omololu Ogunmade in Aba
The Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Igbo socio-cultural organisation, has denied the group’s endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Instead, he promised to mobilise the people of Igbo race to vote for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he said had done well for the South-east.
The President-General of the organisation, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, had last week announced the backing of Ohahaeze Ndigbo for the presidential aspiration of Atiku and his running mate, Mr. Peter Obi.
But Seceratary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Uche Okwukwu, countered the earlier endorsement yesterday at the reception organised by the paramount ruler of Aba, Abia State, Eze Isaac Ikonne, for President Muhammadu Buhari in his palace, saying at no time was Atiku adopted.
Okwukwu, who made the declaration when Buhari paid homage to the monarch, insisted that information that the group had adopted any presidential candidate was untrue.
He said he was in the palace to debunk such erroneous belief, pointing out that the organisation had resolved to visit Buhari in the Presidential Villa, within the next one week to buttress his submission that Ohanaeze had not endorsed another candidate.
He said the occasion of the visit would affirm that Buhari is Ndigbo’s presidential candidate, promising that the group would also mobilise the people of Igbo race to vote for Buhari at the forthcoming presidential poll.
Describing himself as the custodian of the secretariat of the organisation, the secretary-general praised the president whom he said had executed many projects in the region adding that Buhari had done in the region what no other president had done.
Earlier, Aba monarch, Ikonne, who praised Buhari for notable projects, his government had been executing in the region, advised Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to be loyal to the government of Buhari.
He also asked the Igbo people to vote massively for Buhari “so that his second coming can take us to the next level that he has promised.”
In his response, Buhari who thanked the monarch for the warm reception offered him, saying he was pleased that the monarch appreciated the projects that his government had been executing in the region.
He also said his government had been executing road, rail and power projects in different parts of the country and particularly in the South-east, saying the people of the zone were hard working and so deserved the provision of infrastructure to enable them function effectively.
At the presidential campaign rally held at Aba Stadium, Buhari also thanked the large gathering of the people of Abia State whom he said had defied the rain to receive him.
Buhari said with the little resources available to his administration since his advent in 2015, the government had done its best to invest in infrastructure