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The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has lambasted a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim following his comments that the Southeast will not allow Delta and Rivers-speaking Igbo to pick Igbo’s Presidential slot in 2023.
The Secretary-General of Ohanaeze, Dim Uche Okwukwu, said Anyim was not qualified to speak for Igbo’s 2023 Presidential ambition having supported former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar to contest against President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
He described Anyim’s statement as retrogressive, provocative and divisive alleging that the former Senate President was being sponsored by enemies of the Igbo to sow seeds of discord among the people.
He challenged Anyim to showcase his contributions for the advancement of Igbo course despite all the high offices he had occupied in the name of Igbo.
Okwukwu said: ‘On the moral and ethical ground he cannot talk about Igbo Presidency for 2023 because he is a member of the PDP that supported Atiku in 2019 to become President. The question I ask Pius Anyim is if Atiku had warned the election, would he be talking about Igbo Presidency in 2023?’
‘I Dim Uche Okwukwu led a delegation to endorse Buhari in presidential villa in 2019. I am competent to talk about the Igbo Presidency. What we are talking about is a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction and not a Nigerian President from the Southeast.’
Explaining further, he said: ‘Southeast and South-south divide Igbos into two. If Egbema is divided into two between Rivers and Imo, Ikwere is divided between Imo and Abia, Ohaji people are Ikwere people. So what is his own definition of Igbo? Is it Igbos of the Southeast?’
‘What role did Anyim play to please Ndigbo as secretary of the federation? Let Anyim show us what he did in securing the completion of the second Niger Bridge. Let him tell us what he did to rehabilitate the Enugu-Onitsha road, The Port Harcourt, international Airport, the Akanu Ibiam International Airport and the Sam Mbakwe international airport, the port Harcourt-Enugu expressway’.
He said many people were qualified to contest Igbo Presidency in 2023 adding that Amaechi, Ngige, Okorocha and a host of others were all qualified for the ticket.
He said: ‘Amaechi is qualified to run for the Presidency. He has huge political experience. If he steps forward and contest the APC primary and win he will be supported. Ngige is qualified, Ogbonnaya Onu, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Rochas Okorocha and others are qualified.’
‘Anyim cannot redefine Igbo. The Anioma, Ika people in Delta, the Ikweres, the Ogbas, the Oyigbos, Etches in Rivers State are Igbos. The Asari-Ndoki in Akwa Ibom are Igbos. He doesn’t have the mandate of the Igbos to speak.’
‘I am in a better position as secretary general to speak and I am speaking authoritatively. He is from Ebonyi with 13 local government areas what is the voting strength of Ebonyi and what can he bring to the table in terms of the election?’
‘What he saying is provocative, retrogressive and absurd. He doesn’t know that the 10 Igbo-speaking local government areas in Rivers have more votes than the people of Ebonyi put together.’
What is the vote in Ebonyi that he will create this kind of problem to provoke Igbo-speaking people of Rivers. This is how they cause confusion and deny Igbos. Any time we are getting to the Promised Land the likes of Anyim will step out and become Amalakites for Ndigbo.
‘Why is he saying this kind of thing at this crucial and delicate moment when Ndigbo has come out to speak in one voice. Who is sponsoring him? I can tell you that Pius Anyim is being sponsored by the enemies of Ndiigbo, those that don’t want Igbos to produce President in 2023.’
‘What has he ever done to unite Ndiigbo. He has never visited Rivers State. Does he even know where Ndiigbo reside in Rivers State? Does he know where Igbos are in Delta state? Anyim should not cause problem for Ndiigbo’.
Also, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s kinsman and social commentator, Wisdom Ikuli, said it was the turn of the South-south to complete its tenure at the Presidency.
He said Jonathan was qualified to run and called on Igbos to be grateful to Jonathan for giving them a priority in appointments during his first term.
Ikuli said Igbos would not lose anything if Jonathan returned to Aso Rock in 2023.
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