The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has decried the renewed killings in several parts of the Southeast zone, saying it was a grand design by enemies of the zone to stoke insecurity in order to undermine the aspiration of the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi.
Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, revealed the feeling of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation on Tuesday at the inauguration of the new executive members of the Abia State chapter of the group.
He said Ohanaeze was convinced that the killings that took place at Eha-Amufu in Enugu State, last week, and the rising insecurity in Imo and Anambra States, were deliberately targeted to undermine the zone.
His words: “The campaigns have started and we’re facing existential challenges, because of who we are: the Igbo. The killings have started in Enugu and other parts of Southeast. They want to demarket the Southeast, that’s why insecurity has increased just, because the presidential aspiration of an Igbo man, has taken a life of its own.”
The Ohanaeze scribe stated that in the search for equity, justice and fairness for the Igbo in Nigeria, the organisation had robustly engaged with other parts of the country to support an Igbo to emerge the next president of Nigeria.
To this end, he said the political action committee set up by Ohanaeze traversed the country and engaged with political parties, traditional rulers and all other stakeholders, “but at the end of the day, the two major political parties overlooked Ndigbo” in the choice of their presidential candidates.
Emuchay said the rest of Nigeria should not be treating Ndigbo as if they don’t belong when it comes to occupying the highest office in the land and other sensitive positions.
He pointed out that the South West zone was assuaged with the presidency in 1999 following the injustice done to them when the presidential election was annulled in 1993 and the presumed winner, M.K.O Abiola, later died in unexplained circumstances.
“Nigeria took a decision in 1999 and presented Olu Falae and Olusegun Obasanjo as presidential candidates and Obasanjo was chosen,” he said.
According to him, such deliberate political arrangement could have been applied to the Southeast in the run up to the 2023 poll if there was sincerity for Igbo inclusiveness in the Nigeria project.
“The war has since ended and for equity, Justice and fairness, Nigeria should support somebody from the Southeast to become persistent,” he said, adding that, “Ohanaeze Ndigbo is not talking of Igbo presidency but a president of Nigeria from the Southeast.
Earlier, the new state president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Abia State chapter, Comrade Okey Nwankwo, said “the Igbo have all it takes to lead the nation.”
He therefore, called on all Igbo sons and daughters to contribute their quota in the quest to achieve a total development of the Igbo nation in terms of human and physical development.