A former House of Representatives deputy speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, has denied calling the South-East supporters of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, saboteurs.
Ihedioha made this known in a statement issued today by his spokesperson, Chibuike Onyeukwu.
The ICIR reports that Ihedioha had stated in a viral video on social media that the South-East would only produce the country’s president after the tenure of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar if he wins the 2023 election.
Dismissing the chances of the LP candidate at the poll, he said that there were only two parties contesting in the forthcoming 2023 elections: the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He noted that Nigeria could not afford to make mistakes in the 2023 election, stressing that it takes more than emotions for anyone to win the presidential election in Nigeria.
He said there was no way he could have called Igbo people supporting Obi saboteurs, when he shared a close relationship with the LP presidential candidate.
Ihedioha blamed who he called “fifth columnists” for being responsible for the media bashing he had received following his statement.
Ihedioha said his address at the new yam festival of Mbaise people living in Ghana was misconstrued, adding that he was referring to members of the PDP sabotaging the party in the South-East zone.
The statement read, “As a founding member and one of the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, he seized the opportunity of that visit to address PDP issues nationally, but particularly in Imo State and assuage the anxiety of the members of his party who have been apprehensive of the developments within the party.
“In doing so, he decried what, at best, is the insouciant attitude and, worse, the outright sabotage of some acclaimed party leaders who are engaging in acts that are inimical to the success of the PDP, especially in the South-East by working in cahoots with the other parties. He was only talking about members of his own political party.
“For clarity purposes, His Excellency neither referred to members of any other political party, especially the Labour Party, as saboteurs. He only spoke in the context of the PDP and the emphasis was on the need for members of his party to remain consistent and committed.”
Ihedioha said that he shared in Obi’s unwavering political philosophy of ‘Taking Back Nigeria’ from the draconian stranglehold of the APC.