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Ohanaeze meets, urges professionalism in Operation Python Dance III

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President General of Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo (Jnr)

Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo is set to meet over the much awaited endorsement of presidential bid of Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Peter Obi.

Some Igbo leaders, led by Constitutional lawyer, Professor Ben Nwabueze had late last year convened a meeting of Igbo in Enugu, where Atiku/Obi ticket was ‘adopted’ as the Igbo position.

But some Igbo groups including Ohanaeze, which was at the meeting distanced itself from the decision, insisting that it would convene an enlarged meeting of the group to take a position on 2019 presidency.

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The Guardian learnt yesterday that the Professor Chukwuma Soludo Planning and Strategy Committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo would meet on Tuesday to fine-tune arrangement towards the enlarged meeting to be attended by eminent Igbo people to decide on incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku.

It was gathered that although Atiku had picked Obi as his running mate, the enthusiasm of Igbo earlier developed in the project may have waned, following Atiku’s inability to come up with a clear position on restructuring, which Ndigbo had been clamouring for all along.

Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Checks Ibegbu, who confirmed the meeting, however, said the Imeobi would meet before an enlarged Ohanaeze meeting where all opinions would be considered to arrive at a definite position.

Meanwhile, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide yesterday asked the military to remain professional and friendly in carrying out its Operation Python Dance III so as not to engender crisis before and during the elections.

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi, had, while receiving the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Abubarka Maikobi, charged the Army to win the confidence of Igbo people, especially in the face of heightened tension ahead of the polls.

Umahi acknowledged the fact that the Southeast has been greatly troubled by the presence of military personnel, especially the recent clash with members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and called on the officers to be professional and friendly during the exercise.

In a statement issued after its meetings in Abakaliki, President of the Council, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, thanked the Southeast governors for their timely intervention to ensure that the military does not confront MASSOB, IPOB and other groups during the exercise.

Southeast has been peaceful, and any attempt to intimidate innocent youths and women will affect the electoral fortunes of President Muhammadu Buhari and governors of the Southeast who are seeking re-election.

“We insist that the military should remain professional and friendly in carrying out the exercise in a way that will not attract violence and negative voting during the Presidential election on February 16, 2019,” it said.


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