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2023: For Equity, PDP, APC, Others Should Nominate Igbo Candidate For Election In Nigeria —Ohanaeze PG |RN

Ohanaeze President General, Prof. George Obiozor

…Says opinion of South East is to get 2023 President

…Laments that 2014 CONFAB was another failed attempt at remodelling Nigeria’s federalism

…Notes it can’t deny IPOB members,

…Throws its weight behind EbubeAgu

By Henry Umoru

AHEAD of 2023 general and Presidential elections, the umbrella body of South East people, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has asked Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and other political parties to zone the presidency to the South East for equity, justice and fairness.

Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor, who noted that time is ripe for Nigeria to get a President of South East extraction in 2023, said the talent of Igbo is yet to be fully utilized and maximised by Nigeria.

Obiozor, who expressed optimism that the South East would get the Presidency in 2023, however, warned that many were called, and a few were chosen. It wondered why why people were beaming unnecessary attention on negative issues such as security challenges in the South East because Igbo Presidency had changed from probability to possibility.

Responding to a question on how Ohanaeze Ndigbo would achieve its purpose for an Igbo President in Nigeria’s multiparty system, Obiozor said:  ‘’We have many politcal parties. We would appeal to them to nominate an Ibo man or woman as their Presidential candidate.

‘’That would do. That would be wonderful. It is found in the Bible, ‘many are called, few are chosen. Politics is a matter of selection. We would sort out ourselves. Just support us, including the press. I am soliciting the press. For now, just support a president from the South East, an Igboman or an Igbo woman.”

The Ohanaeze President General, who stated that Igbo leaders had already started consultations on the realisation of Igbo presidency, said it had been wonderful.

“The results of the consultations are in the papers of day before yesterday, yesterday and even today. Very sound, positive results. Wonderful responses. Have you listened to Edwin Clark or read him?   One at a time. None is on the run.  ‘’So we are taking it easy.  We have given you wonderful example of the support. First outing, tremendous success. You read it, you saw it. Edwin Clark is not a frivolous man. He is a man of history and he is leading a people who have had experience in this country.  ‘’In the politics of precarious balance in Nigeria, they have had experience. They know what it takes to support any group and they have done it.”

On political parties he said:  “As many as they are, each one of those parties should nominate an Igbo man from the South East.  As for who (candidate) it will be, it’s found in the Bible, many are called few are chosen.

“During the last Presidential election,   all the major candidates were from the same zone. It was also so in 1999. So why are we trying to break our heads because it is coming to our zone. Give us, our choice will be made by us with your cooperation. That is what the Ibos are demanding. We deserve it and it is reasonable.”

On how the South East would speak with one voice to avoid a plurality of interests and aspirants, Obiozor said:  “Other tribes are more divided than us, Igbo are more united. But because all of a sudden there is   possibility of Igbo Presidency, some people want to label Igbo a terrorist zone.

‘’I advise the press and ourselves to avoid certain things that are not necessary. Nobody can divide us.  This time around,   we can get the Presidency from Igbo land. Probability of Igbo Presidency in 2023 has become a possibility.

“Igbo want peace, but not peace of the grave yard. Whatever every other citizen of Nigeria is enjoying, the Igbo need it too.”

According to him, a President of Igbo extraction   will bring “capacity, difference and Justice and equity. It is sad that Nigerian does not want to use talent of Igbos. The Igbos are known for their divergent opinions. Is a true consensus possible?’’

Obiozor, who dismissed the claim that South East people were not united politically, said the notion that the zone does not speak with one voice reflects the plurality of ideas by what he termed an egalitarian people which would be harnessed by Ohanaeze.

He said:  “Speaking with one voice is dictatorial and undemocratic. We won’t speak with one voice, Igbos will express themselves in different voices which will be articulated by a central leadership that knows.

“For the Igbos having variety of opinion is not a crime, no section has only one opinion on an issue. Igbos have different opinions and they all converge on president of South East in 2023.

“Divergent opinion is healthy in politics and politics is not a science of exactitude. It is not mathematics. Politics is considerably and consistently a matter of choices. So for the Igbos having divergent opinions is not a crime.

‘’No section of Nigeria has one opinion or has one leader. Do we have one opinion in the North East, the North West, even South South. Igbos have different opinions and they converge in Igbo President, President from the South East in 2023. That is the opinion.”

Asked to speak on members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, question, Obiozor said IPOB members are their sons that could never be denied.

“We won’t deny IPOB because they are our children, we can never never deny them.   They are our people and they must listen to us just as we listen to them. Any area of conflict we will resolve as their father.’’

Answering questions on the 2014 National Conference, the Ohanaeze President hailed the conference as the best but faulted the refusal of the federal government to implement the   recommendation of the conference, describing it as another lost opportunity.

“That confab was another failed attempt at remodelling our federalism. They didn’t want restructuring, they didn’t want federalism,’’ he said.

Responding to where the support of Ohanaeze laid  between Eastern Security Network and Ebube Agu, Obiozor said: ‘’Believe me, an organization that is working for the security, peace, safety and interest of the Igbos is welcomed. Ebube Agu is formed by the government and governments of the South East.

‘’There is no comparison between Ebube Agu and any other organization. Any organization should come under the control of the government. This question is a very divisive one and we are a people tired of being divided by English language.

‘’Any organization that is fighting for fairness, equity and justice for Igbos is welcomed. If there is a difference, it will be method. It has to be harmonized. As the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, I don’t want any method that puts Igbos in harms way.

‘’That is inimical to our own safety, you get my point.  In fact, every group in Nigeria is divided, some even more divided than the Igbos. Look around.

“Until recently, the South East used to be the most peaceful zone. Now all of a sudden, because the idea of a president from Igboland has moved from a probability to a possibility, people want to turn Igboland into a terrorist environment.

‘’Igbos are not nation breakers, we are not violent people. So we must find out the root of the recent spread of violence and Kidnappings and all that. So that is what I am trying to say. People should not use such a thing as the character of Igbo people. For all the things you can know Igbos for, Igbos are not known for getting money through laziness, like kidnapping. You kidnap your uncle, you get money.

“So my advice to the press, do not give publicity to things that do not merit it by comparing Ebube Agu with any other organization that is working in Igboland. Things have hierarchy. The governors of the states are the chief security officers of the states.

‘’So how do you compare them with organizations.   Organizations are welcomed if they are working in the interests of the people and the nation. The people we are taking about are our children. They are our people.’’ (Vanguard News)

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Willie Obiano Will Join APC After Tenure, Says Chris Ngige |RN

Obiano-Condemns-killing1

Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano

Ngige insisted that supporting re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari remained the best bet for the South-East to produce the Nigerian president in 2023.

• Gov is APGA, will not go anywhere – Commissioner

From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has disclosed that Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, will join the All Progressives Congress (APC) immediately after his tenure.

The minister, who spoke to newsmen in Awka, said he was sure of the move, as he knows governor Obiano to be a pragmatist and a realist.

“When he finishes serving, he will come. I’m sure. He is a pragmatist, he is a realist. I have tried to let him know that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is good, but it’s a regional party. You can’t use a regional party to go and do election and fight. People have abandoned the idea of regional parties. That’s why AD, AC decided that after many years of staying at the periphery of Federal Government, they decided to coalesce with LPP; CPC and rebel faction of APGA, led by Rochas Okorocha and formed APC.

“So, regional parties are not in vogue and the governor knows. Even his predecessor, Peter Obi, when he was using APGA to canvass and do other things, it dawned on him that he cannot be playing in the region with a regional party. He can’t come to national with a regional party and that is why he unceremoniously defected. In fact, they started the defection you are seeing today. Obi is part of the early defectors.

“So, he joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but Obiano is a progressive. Any day he will do it, we will sit with him and arrange it in such a way that the Igbo will go to a party that will reckon with them and that party is APC.”

Meanwhile, Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba has said nothing will make Governor Obiano leave APGA.

Adinuba said both APC and PDP have failed Nigerians as they had nothing tangible to offer.

“Governor Obiano is what the great Zik of Africa would refer to as the “beautiful bride” wooed by every confident suitor. He is wanted by all the parties because of his record and brand of politics devoid of bitterness and primordial cleavages.

“But, he is not going anywhere. He is an APGA man, through and through. He is strongly backing a candidate who all Nigerians expect to win the presidential election.”

In a related development, Ngige has insisted that supporting re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari remained the best bet for the South-East to produce the Nigerian president in 2023.

Ngige said President Buhari and the APC would have the moral grounds and the basis of equity to support a president of South East extraction if the zone gives him and the party full support in 2019 general election.

The minister, who spoke to newsmen in Awka warned the zone against making the mistake he claimed they made in 2015 when, according to him, they put all their eggs in one basket of the PDP against his advice and turned back to cry of marginalisation.

“All I’m saying in effect is that the Igbo of the South-East must do political engineering and the step to take is to support the Buhari presidency for 2019 and vote for it with all their strength. Because by so doing, they will not be left out in the power-sharing that will come thereafter.”   (The Sun)

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BREAKING: Saraki Meets National Chairmen Of 45 Political Parties |RN

Senate President Bukola Saraki is meeting with chairmen of 45 political parties in his office at the Senate.

This was contained in a message on his verified Twitter handle, Bukola Saraki @bukolasaraki.

He had tweeted: “I am now meeting with the National Chairmen of 45 political parties at my office in the Senate.”

See the tweet:

(Punch)

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PDP Decampees To Buhari: You’ve Been Unfair To Us… Seeks Redress From Him |RN

By Johnchuks Onuanyim

nPDP members

Members of the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) in the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday expressed their grievances against the President, Muhammadu Buhari and the party, stating that they have not been treated fairly.

The grievances of the former members of PDP in APC were contained in a letter addressed to the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, copied to the President and Vice President.

The letter, which was signed by the former Acting National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje and former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola bemoaned the treatment given to the New PDP members in APC.

It would be recalled that the New PDP members were the last political group that joined the APC in 2014.

They were made up of five sitting governors, members of the National Assembly, former Vice President and other party chieftains then.

In a petition of wrongdoing to the members, the group alleged that there was nothing to show for their contribution to the success of APC both at national and state levels.

According to the group, instead of positive reward, the New PDP has only got prosecution ad neglect from the present administration.

The group also lamented of being short out from the present APC Ward Congresses of the party that was conducted last week Saturday, as they asked the party to address grievances that would come from the Congresses.

In the petition titled: Request for redressing of grievances of the former New PDP block within the All Progressives Congress, the statement read: “We the members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who moved over from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to form the APC before the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria are desirous of strengthening our party especially now that new party Congresses have commenced and the Convention and another round of General Elections are imminent. Obviously, this cannot be achieved without addressing fundamental issues which we wish to raise in the letter.”

Specifically addressing the grievances, the statement read, “At this stage, we would chronicle a few grievances which if addressed will lead to harmonious APC where justice, equity, fairness and peace will reign and enable APC avoid rancour, reinvigorate the pace of national development and face the 2019 General Elections as one united party.”

They gave the grievances as follows: “In the constitution of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) the New PDP block was generally sidelined as virtually no positron woe conceded to it The only member of FEC that belonged to former New POP block comes from a state that contributed virtually no vote to the APC in the 2015 presidential elections.

“There has been no significant patronage and appointments to executive positions in various government agencies such as chief executive and executive directors of government agencies and Parastatals as members of our block of the party continue to helplessly watch as these positions are shared by erstwhile CPC, ACN, ANPPIN and even APGA blocks of the party and those who have no party at all.

“In appointments into Boards of various government agencies, very few former New PDP members were patronised. These are however not commensurate With our contributions to the growth and Victory of the party

“When members of the former New PDP block showed interest in running for the offices of President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, they were subjected to a vicious and relentless political opposition as if they were not legitimate members of the APC family.

“During the party primaries preparatory to the 2015 General Elections, most of the promises made to sitting members of the National Assembly who belonged to the former new PDP in terms of a level playing held were reneged upon or observed more in breach

“There has been general lack of consultation. non-recognition and even persecution of former New PDP members and leaders by the party and government. For example. some of our leaders are denied the security cover necessary to visit their constituencies even though they are elected representatives of the people in a government they sacrificed so much for.

“Harassment, intimidation and persecution of former New PDP leaders by the government is still an ongoing affair. We do not want to overstate the obvious by cataloguing names of former new PDP stalwarts that are targets of this political pogrom

“There is an inadequate reflection of programme and policy contributions of members at the former New PDP block in the running of the government.”

Further articulating the position and the grievances, the New PDP-led to the APC National Secretariat in Abuja by Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje said, “Our belief is that it does not augur well for our party if a section of it feels that it is being treated as outcasts and meddlesome interlopers in the party they rightly belong with the legitimate expectation to be treated With justice both in the running of the party and the government.

“We, therefore, wish, with due respect, to re-state our expectation then and now that the APC we all laboured to build would be one united, inclusive, cohesive and progressive party devoid of divisions, factions, cleavages and tendencies. We envisioned a political party promoting equal rights for all Nigerians and ensuring rapid and even development across the country. Of course, there is no gainsaying that the fact that the lofty ideals enumerated above cannot be attained without ensuring justice for party faithful and citizens.”

Recounting what happened before the 2015 general election, the group said, “Kindly indulge us to offer a brief reminder of the history of events that led to the victory of the APC in the 2015 General Elections and the presidential election in particular. It is an undeniable historical fact that the movement of the former New PDP block to form the APC contributed immensely to the victory of the APC in the election. The former new PDP included five sitting Governors of Sokoto, Kano, Kwara, Adamawa and Rivers State and former Governors of Kebbi, Gombe, Osun and former vice president of Nigeria, former acting National Chairman of PDP, sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives, many serving members of the National Assembly and many politicians and PDP elders. It was a watershed moment in Nigeria’s political history.

“Most of these leaders not only delivered their States to the APC at the election, some of the Governors were also assigned specific responsibility to ensure that other States were also delivered to the APC in the 2015 election. The then Governor at Sokoto took charge of Kebbi and the then Governor of Kano State took responsibility for Kano, Kaduna and Jigawa States just to mention a few examples. There were also unprecedented efforts by many stakeholders such as Senator Bukola Saraki in concert with others, to deliver the entire North Central to the APC.

“These efforts, contributions and sacrifice were made in spite of the fact that the presidential ticket was taken by the erstwhile Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC) and the Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN) block of the party. It is a matter for grave concern that Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari has never publicly acknowledged our efforts in the face of clear evidence that the total number of votes scored by the APC in States where leaders and members of the then NEW PDP block held sway made the difference.

“Arising from the issues outlined above, among others, we request for an urgent meeting with the leader of the party, and the party executive leadership to find lasting solutions to the issues raised so as to prepare the party as a fighting force to deliver more pungently on its manifesto and face the 2019 General Elections with even greater commitment. The meeting will also enable us to work out modalities to ensure a level playing field for all in the Congresses and Convention of the APC.

“Given the constraining factor of available time and in the interest of our great Party it is strongly advised that the said urgent meeting be held not later than Seven (7) days from the date of the receipt of this letter.”

On a final note, the group said, “we the members of the former New PDP block of the APC Wish to reiterate that this letter is written patriotically with the best of intentions and the good of our party, the APC, and is issued to alert the leadership of the APC and in particular, the leader of our party, President Muhammadu Buhari, who only recently indicated his intention to seek a second term as President, of grievances that exist within the party with a view to ensuring Justice for all members of the APC family regardless of the blocks they came from prior to the formation of the APC.”

Baraje, who spoke to the press in the company of four others said that the group was not contemplating of leaving APC. (New Telegraph)

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