AHEAD of the 2019 general elections, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, has advised Igbo electorate to vote for a presidential candidate with Igbo interest, irrespective of party affiliation, saying it will be a prelude for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023.
Chief Nwodo who said the Ohanaeze Ndigbo which is the apex body of Igbo socio-cultural association is not partisan but meant to project and promote Igbo values, added that the presidential candidate with Igbo interest would also reach a truce with the Igbo nation that he or she will only serve for one tenure so as to avail the nation the opportunity of producing a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023.
While responding to questions from newsmen on contemporary developments in the nation’s body polity at a reception organized in his honour by the Enugu State Chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nwodo who just returned from United States of America [USA] where he had gone to inaugurate the North Carolina chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said the pan-Igbo group would take deep look into manifestos and programmes of candidates in 2019 presidential poll.
Reacting to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar’s defection from All Progressives Congress (APC) to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Nwodo said that Alhaji Atiku like most other prominent Nigerian politicians is free to join any political party of his choice and decamp whenever he wishes.
The Ohanaeze President General who pleaded to be left alone from discussing politics, however, stressed, “Whoever wants to be president will assure us that he will not stay in office more than one tenure. Igbo will get presidency in 2023. This neglect will be worked out. We will look at who will protect the interest of Ndigbo”
Nwodo, however, decried the current neglect of Ndigbo under the current administration, frowning at the poor state of facilities at the Akanu Ibiam Airport Enugu.
“The runway is despicable. The terminal building is abandoned. The other one at the domestic wing has been carried by a hurricane. To disembark from the international wing took us two hours” Nwodo said.
The former Minister for Information also condemned the punishment that Igbo were subjected to at the airport by Immigration and Customs officials who extort money from travellers.
He lamented that the security operatives subject Igbo to inhuman treatment, stressing that people who had personal effects were asked to open their boxes, whereas nobody does such in other international airports in Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Kaduna.
Describing the neglect at the airport as ‘shattering’, Nwodo said it beats his imagination why a government should neglect an entire geo-political zone.
Earlier, the Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu State Chapter, Chief Alex Ogbonna, described Nwodo’s leadership as an unprecedented in the history of Ndigbo, saying for the first time, the President-general of the Igbo union has been promoting handshake, not only across the Niger but South-South, Niger Delta and South-West zones.
On perceived Ndigbo marginalization, Chief Ogbonna, explained that Ndigbo operates a communal system, stating that Ohanaeze intends to leverage on it by promoting “think home” philosophy so that Ndigbo will re-organize themselves and do things for themselves.
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