Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Ahead of the February 16 presidential election, leaders of various Igbo groups drawn from the 19 northern states of the country and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have reaffirmed their support for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The groups, comprising the Igbo Delegates Assembly (IDA), state chapters of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, professionals, as well as women and youth organisations, stated this at the end of their meeting in Abuja at the weekend.
While stating that their support for Atiku was not “negotiable,” the groups noted that a vote for the PDP candidate was a vote for the unity, survival and progress of the country.
In a communiqué signed by the Secretary- General, Igbo Delegates Assembly, Austin Ihedinezi, the groups stated that a vote for Atiku would bring Ndigbo into the mainstream of Nigerian politics.
Consequently, they called on all Igbo both at home and in the Diaspora, “to disregard and ignore the nefarious activities of a few disgruntled persons who have been paid by desperate politicians to sabotage Igbo interests and make it look as if Igbo are not united in this cause.”
According to the communiqué “the meeting reviewed extensively the current state of the Nigerian politics with particular attention to the upcoming election beginning with the presidential and National Assembly elections and the stand of Ndigbo on it. On the basis of their extensive interactions and deliberations, they resolved as follows.
“The stakeholders affirmed their support for the Chief Nnia Nwodo-led Ohanaeze and its endorsement of the Atiku-Obi ticket as the presidential choice for Ndigbo.
“The meetings join Ohanaeze Ndigbo in endorsing the Atiku-Obi ticket and urge all Igbo sons and daughters at home and abroad to vote massively for this choice on February 16, 2019.
“The meeting notes that the endorsement of the Atiku-Obi ticket is because of their clear vision on restructuring and the strategy to make Nigeria work again, a move that has been welcomed and embraced by all ethnic nationalities across the country.”