‘Don’t Drag Ohaneze Ndigbo into Partisan Politics over Umahi’

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Bennett Oghifo

Prominent leaders in the South-east have warned that the strength of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, a socio-cultural organisation of the region, would be eroded if it is dragged into partisan politics.

Two of their leaders, Dr. Eddie Mbadiwe and Professor Chudi Uwazurike stated this in reaction to an alleged statement by the organisation endorsing the recent defection of Governor David Umahi from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The leaders said they expected the Ohaneze to study the political landscape at the appropriate time and advise the Igbos on what best serve their interest.

“We have noted with concern a release by Chief Charles Ibegbu, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze Ndigbo more or less endorsing Governor David Umahi’s projected defection from PDP to APC.

“Governor Umahi in fulfilment of his political ambition is within his rights to play politics as is expedient to him. However, Ohaneze Ndigbo as a socio-cultural organisation must not be dragged into partisan politics if it is to retain its moral authority on matters concerning Ndigbo. We advise Ohaneze to focus heavily on our peoples well-being and resist being dragged into partisan politics. Left to politicians, this sage body will degenerate into in-fighting.

“At the appropriate time, we would expect Ohaneze to do a detailed and objective study of the political landscape in Nigeria and advise Ndigbo on what they believe is best for them. We would also advise that Ohaneze should take time to study the activities of Ibo state union in the period 1940 – 1957.

“For a major part of this period Chief Z.C. Obi was president and he held the Ibos together. Let us identify what made Ibo State Union the Custodian and anchor of Ibo Values. Finally, we recommend to all Igbos to imbibe the old age mantra of Igwe Bu Ike and Onye Aghala Nwaneya,” the statement said.