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We didn’t endorse Atiku, but we’ll identify with a candidate that supports restructuring… Ohaneze
THE Ohaneze ndi Igbo, a socio-political organisation of the Igbo ethnic group of Nigeria, says it has not endorsed former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, nor any other candidate, for the 2019 general election.
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the group, Chuks Ibegbu, said this during a press conference in Enugu, on Thursday.
Ibegbu, however, said that the association has always clamoured for the restructuring of Nigeria, hence it would be supporting any candidate that supports the idea of restructuring.
He clarified that an event which held in Enugu in November 2018, which was attended by Atiku, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and other chieftains of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was not organised by the Ohaneze ndi Igbo, and that the association does not favour one political party over another as there are Igbos in all the political parties in the country.
“It is erroneous to say that we endorsed Atiku. Ohaneze Ndigbo did not endorse anybody. That meeting at Nike Lake Resort was organised by friends of Atiku,” Ibegbu explained.
“However, due to our peculiar circumstance in the country, we will identify with candidates that will restructure Nigeria if voted into power.
“Ohaneze Ndigbo has been canvassing for our people to identify with candidates that will restructure Nigeria.
“We still stand on that and in the next few days we shall meet to take a holistic position on the elections.”
The rumours that the Ohaneze ndi Igbo has endorsed Atiku for the presidency is largely due to the involvement of Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State, and Atiku’s running mate. Obi was a former chairman of the South East Governors’ forum when he was in office.
Also, by saying it will identify only with candidates that support restructuring, the Ohaneze may, tacitly, be referring to Atiku, as he is the most prominent proponent of a restructured Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress also says it supports restructuring, but the presidency has taken no significant action in that regard throughout its first term.