• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Ohanaeze chides Atiku over alleged ethnic card in campaign

Dying Igbo culture, tradition worries Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Ebonyi

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has advised politicians to avoid divisive words while marketing themselves to the electorate for the 2023 general election.

They observed that Nigeria is already divided on ethnic lines and need people with the capacity to unite the country and not politicians that would further divide them.

They condemned a recent comment made by Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), where he called on the people of Northern Nigeria to vote for him, because he comes from the North.

Atiku in the viral video that was recorded during an interactive session with Arewa Joint Committee, Saturday in Kaduna State, asked his fellow Northerners to vote for him in the 2023 general election, because he is from the North.

Atiku equally told his fellow Northerners that what they need is to vote for him rather than a Yoruba or Igbo candidate, because he was a Pan-Nigerian with a northern extraction that has built bridges across the country.

“What the average Northerner needs is somebody who’s from the north, who also understands that part of the country and has been able to build bridges across the country.

“This is what the Northerner needs, it doesn’t need a Yoruba or Igbo candidate, I stand before you as a Pan-Nigerian of Northern origin,” Atiku stated.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo, In a statement signed by Okechukwu Isiguzoro, its secretary-general, stated that the recent utterance of the presidential candidate of Atiku Abubakar was not good for Nigeria’s unity and a stain for his party.

The group said that it is ironic for a man, who has been described as a unifier to publicly tell his audience that presidential candidates from other parts of the country are not needed by them, not based on their competence, but based on their tribes.

“Ohanaeze found it weird and disappointing that an elder statesman and a presidential candidate, in the person of a one-time Vice President of Nigeria, could mount the podium at a public function and play such an ethnic card.

“We are worried that at such a time Nigeria is seeking a unifier, Atiku is further pushing the country into disintegration; he has shown that he lacks the capacity to lead and unite this country.

“His ambition has already destroyed the PDP and pushed it from number one to third if not fourth force. Now, he wants to bring the same division into the affairs of the country. We ask Nigerians to say no by rejecting him stoutly at the polls,” Ohanaeze said.

They added that the comment from Atiku may have shown that the five PDP governors, led by Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governors may have seen such a mentality coming.

“Nobody can trust a man who said he is a stepping stone for the actualization of the South-East presidency in the future, but within 48 hours, he offered the same Presidency to Governor Wike. It’s absurd to see how the PDP’s Presidential team now hawks counterfeit promises.”

They stressed that it is unfortunate that while Atiku and his party are drafting top personalities to seek peace in the party, he the candidate is busy making inciting utterances that are not what is needed in Nigeria right now.

Ohanaeze further cautioned that anybody playing an ethnic card in the 2023 general election does not love Nigeria and must be resisted, because such politics has never favoured anybody.