Former Governor of Lagos State and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has been rejected the endorsement of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the top Igbo socio-cultural group led by Chief Chidi Ibe, for the 2023 presidential seat in Nigeria.
In the sake of equity, justice, and fairness, the organization stated that it is concerned with ensuring that an Igbo man succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Ohanaeze, in a statement emailed to DAILY POST on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Chika Temple, criticized a media remark by a chieftain, Uche Okwukwu, who described Bola Tinubu as a guardian of Ndigbo.
According to the DAILY POST, Ohanaeze’s Deputy President General, Dim Uche Okwukwu, has identified Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the guardian of the people of the Southeast who is needed to lead Nigerians down the path of democracy.
During his time as Governor of Lagos State, Tinubu was a fair leader, according to Okwukwu, who appointed Igbos to his cabinet.
Tinubu, he claimed, was required for the union of the Southern alliance.
If Tinubu wins the election in 2023, Nigeria may have another UK President – Reno Omokri
However, in a statement, Ohanaeze Ndigbo stated that it has not endorsed Tinubu ahead of the 2023 presidential election, claiming that it would be an injustice if anyone from any part of Nigeria denied Igbos the chance to hold the country’s highest office in 2023.
The group acknowledged the former Lagos governor’s achievements to the nation’s democracy, but claimed that during his tenure as the state’s Chief Executive Officer, Tinubu accomplished little to enhance the welfare of igbos in Lagos.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo also expressed nostalgia for Chief Ben Akubueze’s appointment as Commissioner under the APC national leader’s government as Governor, but insisted that the development should not be used as a yardstick in characterizing Bola Tinubu as the defender of the Igbos.
The apex socio-cultural body also pointed out that in the past administrations of former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu and Chief Theodore Orji in Abia State, many non-indigenes of Yoruba and Hausa extraction were fully appointed to the state’s government, implying that the Tinubu’s status as the Igbo’s protector could not be justified.
The Pan-Igbo organization wished the APC national leader a speedy recovery and good health, and advised him to abandon any political ambitions he may have, saying that Nigerians cannot afford to elect a sick person as President to steer the country’s ship again, as they did under President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Ohanaeze, “We wish Ashiwaju of Yoruba land a quick recovery from London health trip, but, Ohanaeze will want to make it clear that we have not endorsed Tinubu or anybody for 2023 presidency, it will not be in the interest of the country to kick out Igbo nation from clinching the presidential seat, because, other regions in this country have taken their turns, natural justice demand that other ethnic nationalities must rally round the people of the southeast extraction to produce Buhari’s successor.
“Again, Ohanaeze doesn’t think that Nigerians will afford again to elect aa sick president as seen in our current President’s earlie medical trips which nearly led this great nation into economic and political instability. So, as we wish him good health, and appreciate his contributions to nation-building, we want to also urge him to continue playing his advisory role, as his name will remain in history, on the quest of all Nigerians to use this current democratic governance towards achieving a greater Nigeria where justice, equity, fairness and peace will guide our daily activities, characters, policies and programs, and as well as our electoral process.
“It must be a mistake for anybody to assume that Bola Tinubu is the protector of the Igbos. Ndigbo will not be in a hurry to recall the eviction notice slammed on Igbos in Lagos by the Oba of Lagos that almost brought disaffection between our brothers and sisters and the host ethnic nationality in Lagos. What were the contributions or efforts of Tinubu then in calling the monarch to order over the unlawful eviction order.
“Ohanaeze reiterates unequivocally that Igbo nation must produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023 to ensure the stability and unification of the country. In as much as the constitution of this country guarantees citizen’s rights to vie for political position of choice, we insist that natural justice demands that Bola Tinubu and his likes should support presidential project of the southeast of Igbo bloc. There is no doubt, very and quite unfair that the Igbo nation had been completely cut off from the sensitive affairs and governance of Nigeria, which is the major factor that sprung up agitations across Igbo land and beyond.
“On the secessionist agitation, Ohanaeze maintains its stand that the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu should be released unconditionally, followed with other pro-Biafra agitators incarcerated in the nation’s security formations across the country. They should be released and granted presidential amnesty, from there, the federal government, Igbo leaders, and the leadership of Kanu-led separatist organization, the IPOB will engage in dialogue to restore the lost peace and unity of Nigeria”.