May 29: Tinubu’s inauguration sacrosanct, says Afenifere as Ohanaeze disowns plan to participate
DSS to work with sister agencies for Buhari’s handover
Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday, denied media reports that it would participate fully in the inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, on May 29.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the body, Dr. Alex Chiedozie Ogbonnia, it described media reports credited to one Okechukwu Isiguzoro, as false and misleading.
Ogbonnia described Isiguzoro as a “meddlesome interloper, who uses the hallowed name of Ohanaeze Ndigbo for narrow interests.”
He stated that Ambassador Okey Emuchay is the Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and not Okechukwu Isiguzoro, and urged the public to ignore him.
Ogbonnia said: “We have at various times informed the unsuspecting public to ignore the mischief makers as impostors, charlatans and media navigators, who leech on the invaluable footprints of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to issue press releases for narrow, perverse and illicit pecuniary interests.
“However, since silence may be misconstrued as giving validity to such a whimsical figment of a transactional imagination, this rebuttal becomes very imperative,” he added.
The press release attributed to Isiguzoro claimed that the Ime-Obi Ohanaeze Ndigbo has mandated that every agitation for the 2023 election should come to an end. Isiguzoro, among other remarks, stated that Peter Obi is the candidate of the future and that nobody should pick up a fight they can’t finish against Tinubu.
Ogbonnia reiterated that: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, led by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, did not issue any statement with respect to the inauguration of President-Elect Tinubu.”
Meanwhile, apex Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, yesterday, commended the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, and the United States of America (USA), for warning all those that are planning to disrupt the planned inauguration of the President-elect, on May 29.
National Publicity Secretary of the group, Jare Ajayi, said the journey to the present democratic dispensation has been hectic “thus, nothing should be done to truncate it.”
Afenifere recalled that since the conclusion of the presidential election on February 25, and the declaration of Tinubu as winner, reports have been rife of various efforts being made to prevent his inauguration, with some even advocating an Interim Government, which it said has been roundly condemned.
The group noted that aside the statement made by the Vice Presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Dr Datti Ahmed, who spoke to halt the inauguration, one Dr Simon Okeke, chairman of a non-governmental organisation, while addressing the media recently, also asserted that inauguration of the president-elect on May 29 ‘might be an open invitation for anarchy. To him, all cases in the court in respect of the election must be settled before the inauguration is made.’
Afenifere spokesman recalled that the Department of State Security (DSS) and the military in April confirmed the move to scuttle the scheduled inauguration and warned those who may be contemplating such.
“The four residents of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), led by one Mr. Ayanegbunam Ubala Okoye, are presently in court to use the legal process to stop the inauguration. It could be that there were other clandestine efforts along the same line, hence the warning issued on May 4 this year by the Defence Headquarters to those it described as ‘unscrupulous politicians’ who were bent on disrupting the May 29 inauguration.
“It appears that those making the move are still hell-bent in their unpatriotic contemplation, hence the strong warnings that were again issued separately by the IGP and the U.S Secretary of State, Mr. Antony J. Blinken, on Monday.”
He, therefore, warned them to desist from such moves, as the said date is not only sacrosanct, the police and other security agencies are determined to deal with anyone caught trying to disrupt the exercise.
Afenifere praised the security agencies and the US government on their stand to ensure that no one, no matter how highly placed, prevents the inauguration of Tinubu. The organisation appeals to all those who are aggrieved to be patient and allow the legal process they have already initiated to take its normal course.
However, the DSS has pledged to work with sister agencies for the seamless inauguration of Tinubu. DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, in a statement, on Tuesday, said the secret police alongside other security agencies will resist criminal elements desperate to undermine democratic transition.
The statement by the DSS comes 24 hours after the IGP said the May 29 handover date of President Muhammadu Buhari and the inauguration of Tinubu remains sacrosanct, warning politicians who have kicked against the ceremony and who argue that Tinubu did not win the February 25 poll, which is being challenged in court.
“The Service wishes to state very clearly that it will continue to collaborate with sister agencies to rid the nation of criminal elements particularly at this transition period and even beyond,” Afunanya stated.
“This is more so that certain persons are desperate to undermine the process. But the Service will resist this and ensure a seamless event. It will continue to cooperate with stakeholders to achieve a peaceful environment critical to the pursuit of legitimate businesses by law-abiding citizens and residents.”