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Ohanaeze to Obi: Don’t rely on alliance with northern politicians for presidency



Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Igbo-socio cultural group, says moves by Peter Obi, a chieftain of the Labour Party (LP), “aimed at forging an alliance with northern politicians” could be counter-productive.

 

The group is different from the one led by Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the elder statesman.

 

In a statement, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the group’s secretary-general, said Obi’s quest to align with northern politicians may jeopardise the Igbo presidency aspiration.

 

On Monday, Obi met with former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar; and Sule Lamido, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former governor of Jigawa; in Abuja.

 

Obi had contested the 2023 presidential election and polled third behind Abubakar.

 

In November 2023, Obi hinted at contesting for the presidency again in 2027.

 

“The recent political maneuvers of former Anambra Governor and 2023 Labour Party Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, have stirred both surprise and scrutiny among Nigerians and Ndigbo,” the statement reads.

 

“Mr. Obi’s deliberative visits to key Northern figures such as former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and ex-Jigawa Governor Dr. Sule Lamido, hint at potential opposition party alignments aimed at unseating President Tinubu in 2027.

 

“The Northern political establishment, religious scholars, and traditional institutions harbor reservations towards Mr. Obi for several notable reasons.

 

“Firstly, his failure to clearly address the issue of Biafra Agitation and enunciate a definitive stance on the matter has left the Northern elites hesitant about endorsing an Igbo presidency.

 

“Secondly, questions abound concerning the substantive benefits that the North stands to gain from Mr. Obi’s self-reliant and self-assured political approach, especially when contrasted with the impactful empowerment endeavors undertaken by figures like President Tinubu and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

 

 “Thirdly, the North is bewildered as to why Mr. Obi has shifted his focus from his historical support bases such as the Southeast, Middle Belt, and Niger Delta regions, redirecting his efforts towards soliciting acceptance in the Northwest and Northeast areas.”

 

The group asked Obi to “glean wisdom from the poignant lessons of history, specifically the disenchanting experiences of past Igbo presidential candidates who pinned their hopes on Northern endorsement”.

 

“Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Senator Chuba Okadigbo, and others serve as stark reminders of the disappointments faced by Igbo aspirants despite their overtures and perceived alliances with the North,” Isiguzoro said.

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