Igbos have no regrets for not supporting Buhari –Ohanaeze

By AdvocateNews on 23/03/2019

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Buhari
Buhari

The  apex socio-political body of  Igbo, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said it has no regrets for refusing to support President Muhammadu Buhari in the  February 23  presidential election.

The group backed the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party  for the poll, Atiku Abubakar.

However, Buhari of the All Progressives Congress was declared winner of the election by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Some political leaders in the South-East, including the Director-General of Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, and  APC’s  National Auditor, George Muoghalu, criticised  Ohanaeze  for  its decision to back Abubakar against Buhari.

But Ohanaeze told Punch on Friday that it would support  Abubakar  should the election be repeated.

National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, who spoke with our correspondent, insisted that they  decided to  endorse Abubakar because the  former Vice-President  expressed his commitment to restructuring  the country.

He said, “Ohanaeze Ndigbo has no regrets about  endorsing Atiku Abubakar of the PDP; we have no regrets about  not supporting President Muhammadu Buhari. What happened was that the National Executive Committee of Ohanaeze decided to support the candidate that was interested in restructuring Nigeria, which has been our position.

“We did not support Abubakar because he was a member of the PDP – we endorsed him because he wanted to restructure the country.

We are even saying that if you give us another opportunity to take a decision on who to endorse, we will still go for Abubakar because he identified with our interests.

“Ohanaeze has no regrets about  not backing Buhari in the election. Despite the outcome of the exercise, we have no regrets at all.”

Achi-Okpaga said Ohanaeze was not expecting anything from Buhari.

Ohanaeze had accused Buhari of being unfair to Igbo, particularly in his appointments and major decisions, since he came to power  in 2015.

But Achi-Okpaga said the  body did  not expect the President  to treat Igbo better during his second term.

The spokesman said, “We are not making any demands, there is no need. A leopard cannot change its spots except there is a miracle.

“What he cannot do during his first term, you cannot expect him to do that in the second term. His actions, statements and body language show that he does not mean well for Ndigbo. So,  we are not expecting anything from him.”

Meanwhile, there are indications that the suspended Secretary General of  the body, Uche Okwukwu, will  be  expelled from the NEC.

Okwukwu was suspended for opposing  Ohanaeze’s decision to endorse Abubakar.

He  also addressed an APC rally, where he reportedly claimed that Ohanaeze had decided to  back Buhari’s re-election bid, and subsequently led a delegation to visit the President in the Presidential Villa.

A source in the Ohanaeze NEC  said on Friday that Okwukwu failed to appear before a disciplinary committee that was set up to look into the alleged offences over which he was suspended.

The source  said, “Since he refused to appear before the disciplinary committee, it is expected that the committee will write to inform the National Executive Committee  and  the committee  would recommend his expulsion,”

When contacted on Friday, Okwukwu said he would get back to our correspondent.

But he had yet to do that as of  the time of filing this report.--Punch

Posted 23/03/2019 06:44:12 AM

 

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