Enugu – The Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex pan-Igbo socio-cultural group, says it is not in a haste to endorse any presidential candidate for the Feb.16 Presidential Election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that prominent among the contenders are incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chucks Ibegbu, who spoke on Saturday in Enugu, said the group would soon take a stand.
Ibegbu was explaining the delay in the group’s adoption of a presidential candidate barely 34 days to the presidential election.
“In a few days, probably after a week, our highest decision making organ, the Imeobi, will meet during which it will decide the political direction Ndigbo will follow.
“However, the resolution might not be made public for obvious reasons,’’ he said.
Ibegbu explained that since adoption of any of the presidential candidate borders on the political future of the Igbo people and, indeed, the entire Nigerians, “such decision should not be taken in a haste.’’
He, however, revealed that the group would likely resolve to strongly support any presidential candidate “whose key agenda is to genuinely restructure the country so that it could make sufficient progress.’’
On the recent advice by the Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo, that Ohanaeze should not endorse or adopt any candidate, Ibegbu said that Okorocha’s advice could not be easily dismissed.
“We cannot dismiss that view because of so many existing factors; so many experiences of the past.
“You can’t dismiss Okorocha’s view on that, and that is why I told you that if we don’t endorse openly it gives us room, a corridor to negotiate.
“But if we do it openly, probably the expectation fails to work out, it might have an unintended effect,’’ he noted.