The Secretary-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Uche Okwukwu, has supported Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on his stance on Igbo presidency, asserting that Ndigbo should forget seeking the presidency in 2023.
In a statment signed by Okwukwu and made available to THISDAY yesterday, he noted that “I read with studied silence the regrettable and unfortunate statement credited to the Secretary of the Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC), Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, which was solely aimed at discrediting the personality of Amaechi, an illustrious Igbo son, a patriot, nationalist and presently the Transportation Minister.
“Amaechi predictable assertion that Ndigbo had by an act of omission or commission shot themselves out of the presidency in 2023 is nothing but the truth.”
He went ahead to explain that “to the best of my knowledge as the Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the suspended President General, Chief John Nwodo, betrayed Amaechi and the Igbo race as he (Nwodo) had earlier spoken with and agreed with him(Amaechi) that Ohanaeze Ndigbo will be neutral by not endorsing any candidate for the presidential election. In 2015 Ohanaeze took this path and failed.”
Okwukwu said Ndigbo should place the blame on the suspended leadership of “Nwodo and the likes of Nnabuike who purportedly endorsed Alhaji Atiku Abubakar without affording Amaechi, then Director General of Buhari campaign organisation, the opportunity to present the reasons for the president’s bid for a second term.
“Unknown to the likes of Nnabuike, Amaechi, Ngige, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and other Igbo sons and daughters in the All Progressives Congress (APC) are great Igbo patriots and true nationalists.”
Giving reasons for backing Amaechi, Okwukwu pointed out that “Amaechi and his fellow patriots had argued that it was better for Ndigbo to vote massively for President Muhammadu Buhari to provide them the space to politically and morally demand an Igbo president in 2023.”
According to him, “If Atiku had won will Nnabuike be asking for the presidency in 2023? The obvious answer is no. Amaechi as governor of Rivers State (2007– 2015) took practical steps to uplift Ndigbo in the state.”
He said: “It is on record that he is the first governor to appoint an Igbo man and a non-indigene of Rivers State as a commissioner, Mr. Chuma Chinye, who was them the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry.
“Amaechi also abolished discriminatory fees in all schools and provided a window that made all qualified residents in the state to seek employment into the state civil service, and Igbo benefited immensely from that policy.”
Okwukwu argued that “Amaechi cannot determine the politically future of Ndigbo alone, but hem as an Igbo man and other progressives can influence the political future of Ndigbo.
“He has the political and strategic experience and had commanded a campaign organisation twice and secured victory twice, while Nnabuike and his likes had blindly endorsed failure twice. Amaechi and others deserves an apology from Nnabuike and his co-travellers.”