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Ohanaeze’s endorsement of Sanwo-Olu a scam, say Nnia Nwodo, stakeholders

By Victor Gbonegun
07 March 2019   |   4:20 am
President-General of Ohanaeze Nd’Igbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has disowned the organisation's recent alleged endorsement of Lagos State gubernatorial candidate...

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

Razak urges Lagosians to back APC candidate
President-General of Ohanaeze Nd’Igbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has disowned the organisation’s recent alleged endorsement of Lagos State gubernatorial candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

In a video recording in Igbo and addressed to all Igbo and circulated among stakeholders and state chapters of the umbrella body, which was made available to newsmen, Nwodo declared that the move by Lagos President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Solomon Ogbonna, was self-serving and contrary to the position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide.

According to Nwodo, “What Ogbonna did in Lagos in the name of Ohanaeze was deceitful. We never sent him to choose whom we should endorse in Lagos. What he did was very bad and abominable. He should be disregarded.”

Though he described both Sanwo-Olu and the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Jimi Agbaje, as good and qualified, he, however, called on all Igbo to vote for those aligned with restructuring, whether for legislature or governorship, “not those involved in the recent electoral manipulation and attack on Igbo.

“Do not listen to those threatening you with vindictive taxes or expulsion. It is sad and disappointing that neither the federal nor Lagos State authorities or leaders have so far condemned the impunity visited on the Igbo in Lagos at the recent election.”

Similarly, some Ohanaeze members in Lagos, including PDP chieftain, Ben Akah, PDP National Coordinator of Unit2Unit, Dr. Vincent Anyigor, Dr. Jonathan Nnaji and Chief Arthur Nwachukwu, told a news conference in Lagos on Tuesday that Ogbonna’s action was a scam.

Akah alleged that Ogbonna was “scamming” the APC and Sanwo-Olu for his pocket, adding that as president of the Lagos chapter, Ogbonna had “used a scam message in which he said he was calling a town hall meeting of stakeholders (at MUSON Centre, with Nwodo as the convener).

“He never mentioned that it was a political meeting, that Sanwo-Olu was coming; therefore, there was not supposed to have been any visitor. Unfortunately, he had already had a definite agreement with Sanwo-Olu and his APC group.

“Everybody came into the meeting believing that he said Nwodo was the convener; he was the person they were waiting for. Unknown to those inside, he had put a giant-size poster of Sanwo-Olu and Nnia Nwodo outside after they had gone in, and then Sanwo-Olu walked in and started addressing the people.”

According to Akah, it was then that Ogbonna told the people that the gathering was to endorse Sanwo-Olu. Therefore, “we are telling you today that the Igbo are still definite on which political programme they support and are proud to be different.”

He assured that Ogbonna’s action would not go unpunished, as Ohanaeze has constitutional means of dealing with such unexpected conduct.

Meanwhile, the grand patron of Buhari/Osinbajo Mandate Group, Chief Lanre Razak, said victory for Mr. Sanwo-Olu on March 9, 2019, will fast-track socio-economic transformation of Lagos State and serve as impetus for APC to consolidate on its current developmental strides for the greater welfare of the people.

Razak, therefore, urged the people to shun all forms of electoral malpractices including thuggery, rigging, snatching of ballot boxes and the sort of violence recently experienced in parts of the country during the just-concluded elections. He commended the electorate in Lagos State for voting massively for President Muhammadu Buhari/Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo ticket and APC candidates during the February 23 presidential and National Assembly polls.

Razak, a former commissioner for public transportation in the state, believes that given Sanwo-Olu’s track record of meritorious service, both as former banker and rich experience in Lagos public sector for many years, the APC candidate has the capacity, experience and integrity to consolidate on the numerous legacies of former governors Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Raji Fashola as well as the incumbent Akinwunmi Ambode.