Enugu – Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said on Thursday that it would only support a presidential candidate whose manifesto protected the interests of Ndigbo.
John Nnia Nwodo, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists at a reception organised for him by the Enugu State chapter on his return from the United States of America where he had inaugurated the North Carolina chapter.
Responding to a question from journalists on the recent defection of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nwodo – a two-time minister – said Atiku was free to join any party.
Nwodo made it clear that when the candidates emerge, Ohanaeze would seek an audience with them, look at their manifestos and support the party that will best protect the interests of Ndigbo.
“Whoever wants to be president will assure us that he will not stay in office more than one term.
“Igbos will get presidency in 2023. This neglect will be worked out. We will look at who will protect the interest of Ndigbo,” Nwodo said.
He decried the current neglect of Ndigbo under the current administration, and frowned at the poor state of facilities at the Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu.
According to him, “The runway is despicable. The terminal building is abandoned. The other one at the domestic wing has been carried by a hurricane.
“To disembark from the international wing took us two hours.”
The Ohanaeze helmsman equally condemned the punishment that Igbos were subjected to at the airport by immigration and Customs officials who extorted bribes from them.
He lamented that the Customs and immigration operatives were subjecting Igbo people to inhuman treatment.
He said people who had personal effects were asked to open their boxes, whereas nobody did such in other international airports in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, and Kaduna.
Nwodo accused a Customs officer, one S.I. Jubril, of allegedly presiding over the maltreatment of Igbos at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
Describing the neglect at the airport as “shattering”, Nwodo said it beats his imagination why a government would neglect an entire geopolitical zone.
Speaking on the import of the reception, Alex Ogbonnaya, the Chairman of Ohanaeze, Enugu State, said it was the tradition to accord such reception to a great man returning from a journey, adding that they were anticipating things that would come with it.
He described Nwodo’s leadership as exemplary and unprecedented in the history of Ndigbo.
He said, for the first time, the president general had been promoting handshake, not only across the Niger but also the South-South and South-West.
On the neglect of Ndigbo, Ogbonnaya explained that Ndigbo operated a communal system and Ohanaeze intended to leverage this by promoting the “think home” philosophy, so that Ndigbo would re-organise themselves and realise their capacity to do things for themselves.
The post Ohanaeze Gives Condition To Back Presidential Candidates In 2019 appeared first on Independent Nigeria.
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Author: Emma Nzomiwu