Posted by Charles Iwuoha, Enugu | 28 January 2019 | 701 times
Mr Osita Okechukwu, the Director General of Voice of Nigeria and chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), on Sunday accused the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nnia Nwodo (Jnr.), of rigging the constitution of Ohanaeze in his purported endorsement of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and running mate, Mr. Peter Obi.
Okechukwu, who is an ardent supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC presidential candidate, said Nwodo deliberately sidelined the General Assembly, which is the Supreme Organ of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, going by Article 10, subsection VI of Ohanaeze’s constitution.
The VON DG was reacting to the controversial endorsement of Atiku/Obi ticket of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last week and the attendant fury and outrage of Governor of Anambra state, Willie Obiano, Ken Nnamani, Chris Ngige, Geoffrey Onyeama and a host of other prominent Igbo leaders.
Answering questions with journalists in Enugu, Okechukwu said the outrage of Igbo leaders over the endorsement was justified, as the collective interest of Ndigbo nationwide was atrophied.
He maintained that Nwodo acted arbitrarily in “Rambo” style and utterly circumvented Ohanaeze constitution by endorsing Atiku/Obi PDP ticket.
According to him, Ime Obi could have first drawn a checklist of Igbo Charter of demands and hand over to the two leading contenders -Buhari and Atiku. Secondly, convene General Assembly meeting to decide, but this was not done.
“The tremendous respect one has for our elder brother, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide perished when reports crept in on Thursday 24 January 2019, on how he regrettably rigged the Constitution of Ohanaeze, and by extension Ndigbo worldwide by recklessly endorsing Atiku/Obi ticket.
“Going through his communiqué, the first question is where is the collective search, the critical and dispassionate appraisal in Nwodo’s endorsement, when in Rambo Style he deliberately sidelined the General Assembly, which going by Article 10, subsection vi of the Ohanaeze Constitution is the Supreme Organ of Ohanaeze Ndigbo?”
Asked whether there is anything wrong in endorsing Atiku/Obi especially when Ohanaeze particularly noted in its communiqué that Ndigbo must seize the opportunity that a major political party (PDP) nominated their son, Peter Obi, as Vice Presidential candidate, which has given Ndigbo an opportunity for inclusivity, Okechukwu said:
“Yes, it was wrong and near idiotic as Governor Obiano alluded to hurriedly endorse Atiku/Obi when main variables and indicators are not critically and dispassionately considered? One Ime Obi could have first drawn a checklist of Igbo Charter of demands and hand over to the two leading contenders – Buhari and Atiku – and secondly convene General Assembly meeting to decide. This was not done, so why the hurry?”
Reminded that Ime Obi shall be responsible for rapid response in Ohanaeze matters, Okechukwu quipped, “Is there emergency in 2019 presidential election which was fixed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, especially when Nwodo mischievously fixed the Ime Obi in a very important date when our foremost elder statesman, the great Zik was being immortalized by Mr President?”
On the excuse that Nwodo was not privy to APC’s program and therefore should be excused, Okechukwu said it was the idiotic angle Governor Wily Obiano alluded to, as the governors and other eminent Igbos like Chris Ngige pleaded with him to shift the date of Imeobi, but he refused.
“Methinks it is sheer mischief for Nwodo not only to refuse to shift the date, but when he agreed to shift time from 4pm to 7pm, only for his Kangaroo Ime Obi to hurriedly finish the meeting before 7pm. This is what angered many who arrived for the meeting shortly before 7pm.”
Okechukwu was confronted with the second point Ohanaeze raised why Atiku/Obi ticket was endorsed, which is, “That the presidential candidate of PDP Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has made an avowed commitment to restructuring of the federation and reconfirmed same during his recent visit to the United States in his meetings with high-level US officials.”
The VON DG retorted: “Atiku’s position on restructuring is at best opaque and candidly is not as robust as Nwodo’s Ohanaeze is propagating. No person or group of persons can amend or alter the 1999 Constitution of the Republic of Nigeria without 2/3 of the members of the National Assembly and 2/3 of the State Houses of Assembly. What we have is a rigid Constitution.
“In sum, my position is that it is more politically correct to endorse Buhari if a non-partisan Ohanaeze is to endorse any candidate. I, therefore, commend South East Governors for their collective resolve to support President Buhari, for his re-election is the surest and quickest route to Nigeria president of Igbo extraction in 2023. Ndigbo’s vote in 2019 for Buhari will simulate a concrete alliance with Buhari’s 10-12 million Vote Bank in the North.”
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