Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) have said that inviting presidential candidates of the country’s political parties to speak to them was not in their agenda.
This was made available to journalists by the publicity secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,, Chief Alex Ogbonna, who said there was no need inviting any presidential candidate for a meeting since the group believes it should be the turn of the South-East to produce the president of Nigeria in 2023.
“In 2019, the Igbo supported Alhaji Atiku Abubakar wholeheartedly, and what the race is suffering today is the outcome of our deep support for him. But he worked against the Igbo. Is he the person we are going to listen to?
“Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a democrat, and he fights injustice, but yet he is going ahead to make sure that the South-West gets the presidency again.
“We are in tandem with other southern groups- Afenifere, PANDEF and the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) for insisting that the presidency should rotate to the South-East for peaceful co- existence of the nation. So, there is no need to invite any of them.”
On the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, Chief Ogbonna emphasised that the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi is a national icon and a global citizen working to positively rewrite the story of Nigeria, adding that Ohanaeze is fully supporting him.
In a similar development, President of the MBF, Bitrus Pogu said the forum could not invite any of the presidential candidates to address them when they have already taken a position.
“Our position is clear. We told the world that we have assessed the candidates as individuals and as political parties. First and foremost, along with our friends in the South, we have decided that the presidency has to go to the South after eight years of a Northern president. Secondly, we came out clearly to say that we would not support a Northern president when any of them emerges as a candidate of any of the political parties. So, why invite someone you had already said you would not support when he emerged?
“Thirdly, in the South, there are two presidential candidates of repute who came out. One from the APC and the other from Labour and from analysis, we settled with the South-East candidate. We agreed that the best candidate for Nigeria at this time is Peter Obi and we have come out clearly without mincing words to say that Peter Obi is our candidate.
“As a material, Obi stands out as the best in the political space in that position at this point in time. So, we are not going to invite anybody and we are not joking about it.”