Ohanaeze youths raise reconciliation committee

The Leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide yesterday raised a reconciliation committee to interface with aggrieved Southeast leaders, w

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The Leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide yesterday raised a reconciliation committee to interface with aggrieved Southeast leaders, who felt sidelined in the selection of former Anambra Governor Peter Obi as running mate.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, at the weekend named Obi as his running mate in the presidential election.

Leading other stakeholders in the zone after a meeting at the weekend, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekwerenmadu said they were not aware of the selection of Obi as Atiku’s running mate.

They said they were not consulted before the selection in line with agreement they reached with Atiku before he clinched the party’s presidential primaries.

In a statement yesterday after its meeting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, the youth wing of Igbo socio-political group, Ohanaeze, led by Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said it has a plan to liaise with all parties involved to reach an amicable resolution.

The group said it has appointed a renowned academic and London-based scholar, Obinna Ukpabi, to spearhead the reconciliation efforts and to ensure that peace returns to the Southeast over Obi’s choice.

In the statement, Isiguzoro appealed to the governors to see the process that threw up Obi as Atiku’s running mate, as a divine.

He urged other aggrieved Igbo leaders to rally around Obi and unite for the challenges ahead in order to ensure that Southeast is 100 per cent PDP in the forthcoming presidential election.

The statement reads: “OYC asks those who lost out in the bid to become Atiku’s running mate to allow the collective interest of Ndigbo to thrive above personal interests and support Peter Obi to deliver the zone in the forthcoming presidential election.”

The group dismissed insinuations that the Southeast is divided on Obi’s choice as Atiku’s running mate and that it will affect the fortune of PDP in the Presidential election.

It said: “This is false and untrue as Southeast is solidly behind the choice of Peter Obi as running mate to Mr Atiku’s.”

“We implore our leaders to be mindful of their resolutions before the public as it can be misunderstood by other tribes and zones that Igbos cannot manage their successes and electoral fortunes which had been the bane of our progress since 1999.”

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths (Worldwide) commended the PDP and the former vice president for choosing an Igbo son as the vice presidential candidate for the 2019 general elections.

The commendation was given through a statement issued in Owerri yesterday by its Acting National President Dr. Kingsley Dozie and Emeka Odom, its Assistant National Legal Adviser.

It said that Igbo youths would make themselves available to advice the PDP for choosing Obi.

The group said it had already started discussing and liasing with youths of other ethnic nationalities on how to have a productive and people-oriented election.

It said: “To restructure Nigeria is our priority now and we’ll get it right this time. The choice of the former governor, Peter Obi is great. He was not wasteful in the management of resources while serving as governor.

“Peter Obi is a good choice. He will bring business intelligence into governance. He is not corrupt and as a governor, he was not wasteful. Igbo youths are very happy.

“Obi’s success story as a businessman would help in reviving the nation’s economy if elected in 2019. The decision to pick him, we believe, is based on his outstanding performance as governor of Anambra state.”

The group said that Obi, as a successful businessman, will be expected to translate his wealth of experience into good governance for the nation.

They expressed optimism that the former Anambra State would not disappoint Ndigbo in particular and Nigeria at large.

The group had earlier commended the PDP for electing Atiku as its presidential candidate in the 2019 elections.

Its leader, Dr Kingsley Dozie, described the former vice president as an apostle of restructuring.

He promised that his group would liase with its parent body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, alongside “our brothers after our consultations and get it right this time.

“The party’s primary was free and fair and the most credible presidential primaries. Igbo youths are pleased with the party’s style of leadership and particularly the restructuring agenda of its candidate which placed him first in the race.

“Consequently, the leadership of Igbo youths, led by Kingsley Dozie, shall mobilise all Igbo youths, home and abroad, to ensure that a better candidate who places our interest as a priority and who will genuinely restructure Nigeria emerged as the president of Nigeria come 2019.”

Dozie said that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing was now out to protect, preserve and promote the welfare of Ndigbo through massive mobilisation of the youths to vote for a preferred, detribilised and someone who would put smiles on the faces of people in the forthcoming presidential election.

He urged the youths to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), saying doing so remained the surest way to electing credible candidates.