IPAN tackles Ohanaeze for berating non-Igbo presidential aspirants
Backs Obi on declaration of intent
A group, Igbo for Progressive And United Nationhood (IPAN), has condemned the way and manner in which Ohanaeze Ndigbo criticised politicians from other parts of the country, who declared interest to contest the nation’s presidency in 2023.
Besides, IPAN backed former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, for declaring his intention to contest the presidency in the event that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zones its presidential ticket to the South.
National President of IPAN, Lawrence Onuzulike, argued that all eligible Nigerians who meet the constitutional requirement to contest the office of the president should do so regardless of their regions, stressing that nobody should blackmail or discourage others from contesting.
In a statement issued, yesterday, Onuzulike flayed the position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, which he alleged, has been blackmailing other presidential aspirants from other regions and urged them to stop such utterances.
Onuzulike advised that as a pan-Igbo group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo should be at the forefront of rallying support for Igbo aspirants in their political parties like IPAN was doing, instead of advising or begging aspirants from other regions not to contest.
He argued that Igbo politicians had always contested the presidential election since 1999, even when some political parties zoned their presidential tickets to other zones.
“All we should be doing is to appeal to Nigerians, both political elite and the masses to support Igbo candidates this time around for equity and fairness.
“Although it is widely believed that 2023 is the perfect time for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction to emerge, we do not believe in arm twisting Nigerians to make an Igbo person the President or telling other aspirants from outside Igbo land to drop their presidential ambition,” he added.
While commending Obi for signifying interest in contesting the presidency, he described the former Governor of Anambra State as someone who has the capacity to elicit the support of millions of Nigerians in his presidential bid, like other Igbo who have declared their presidential ambition.
He said if the PDP must zone its presidential ticket, it should cede it to the South or specifically, the South East.