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A group known as The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has advised the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as well as leaders in Igbo land to support the administration of the newly elected Ohaneze Ndigbo president -Professor George Obiozor in order to realize the Igbo presidency in 2023.
In a statement signed by its President-General, Goodluck Ibem, and its Secretary, Kanice Igwe, in Owerri, the group urged all aggrieved members to come together for the purpose of an Igbo candidate winning the 2023 presidential election.
According to Ibem, ‘those against the emergence of the renowned diplomat, Professor George Obiozor, as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, should try to realign their interest to be in tandem with Ndigbo, especially for the common pursuit of the Igbo collective agenda of an economic and political resurgence, especially towards producing Nigerian president of Igbo extraction come 2023.’
Ibem also advised IPOB against its antagonism towards Igbo leaders, pointing to the group’s recent statement that it will not support Obiozor.
‘IPOB in its publication said that they will not recognize Prof Obiozor as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide nor will they work with him,’ Ibem stated.
‘While it may not be entirely right to say Ohanaeze Ndigbo is IPOB’s problem nor that the latter is much the former’s, the goal should have been to give Ndigbo a common and collective voice that makes for consensus-building rather each speaking differently.
‘While, regardless of Nigeria’s politics, COSEYL understands the legitimate aspiration of Ohanaeze (under extant international law), the Coalition fails to see much sense in a directive, even vindictive that called for the death of the immediate past leader of Ohanaeze, Nnia Nwodo.
‘If words can kill, the former Ohanaeze Ndigbo President General Chief Nnia Nwodo would have been dead from verbal attack and bounty placed on him from the group,’ Ibem said.
On the alleged sponsorship of Obiozor by the Fulani as claimed by IPOB, Ibem said:
‘While, before the election, there were brotherly disagreements as happens everywhere the election of Obiozor was free and fair, COSEYL says.
‘COSEYL does not understand how a Fulani cabal or clique influenced from Abuja the emergence of Obiozor. What, ordinarily, should have followed would have been IPOB alerting Ndigbo generally to the scheme and shenanigans, even the meddlesomeness of external body regarding Obiozor before the election.
‘Again, it would have been better if IPOB has any available record to back up such weighty claims of Abuja influence.
‘Ndigbo are a very respected and responsible tribe in Nigeria which would never accept a situation where anyone or group imposes a candidate on her to lead the apex socio-cultural group in the land. Ndigbo are republican in nature, as history has shown.
‘Again, for the record, Obiozor clearly won the election held at Dan Anyiam Stadium Owerri being that it was the turn of Imo State (his home state) to produce the next Ohanaeze leadership.
‘All that we want and pray the IPOB to do at a time like this is to remember that since the exit of Dim Odimegwu Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, the Igbo have remained scattered like sheep without a herder. All that is required now is for all to come together and work as one.
‘The constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo was followed to the letter in the election that brought Obiozor on sit. While thanking Igbo elders like Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, we, therefore, call on those who lost the election to queue behind the new President General and his team for the betterment of Ndigbo,’ Ibem appealed.
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