By Obinna Akukwe
Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the nineteen Northern States of Nigeria has declared support for some candidates of APC in the North including Aminu Tambuwal, El-Rufai, Samuel Ortom, Abubakar Bello, and Mohammed Abubakar among others.
Speaking with the Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC), a cleric and Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the 19 Northern States and President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Jigawa State Chapter, Rev Offodile Igwesi said that Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the 19 Northern States have concluded arrangements to vote for the candidates of the opposition APC in tomorrow’s governorship elections. According to Rev Igwesi, “The APC Governorship Candidate Alhaji Baduru Abubakar has been a friend of the Igbo community in Jigawa State and we cannot abandon him at this point in time. Mallam El-Rufai and Tambuwal have been reported to be nationalistic in nature and we have every reason to stand behind them”
The President Ohanaeze Ndigbo Bauchi State Chapter, Mr Ede Joseph Okafor in his contribution, told Akukwe that “Mohammed Abubakar had shown that he understands the problems of the grassroots in Jigawa State. He has also assured Igbos of safety. Therefore, I have told our people to vote for him”
In Benue State, the Secretary Ohanaeze Ndigbo State Chapter Chief Obiora Oguguo Anueyiagu told Rev Akukwe that “Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Benue State has no doubt that the APC Candidate Samuel Ortom will move the state forward. Therefore, our people are being mobilized to vote for him”
Niger State Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Imeobi, and Elders Council, Chief JC Onuigbo told the leadership of Igbo Mandate Congress that “I, and our Ohanaeze State Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Ezeudo and leaders of Ohanaeze have already concluded arrangements to ensure that the Igbo Community rallies round Abubakar Bello in these coming polls. Though the Chief Servant, Babangida Aliyu has not performed badly, the APC candidate has been a friend to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe”
Meanwhile the Leadership of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) has thrown support for the Kaduna State Governorship Candidate Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and his Sokoto State Counterparts, Aminu Tambuwal in the forthcoming polls. . Addressing the leaders’ Delegates’ Conference in Enugu on Monday, the Director General of the group, Rev Obinna Akukwe described these two men as progressives who fought for democracy in Nigeria. According to Rev Akukwe” Nasir El Rufai and Aminu Bello Masari have the same democratic tendencies like Governor Sullivan Chime in Enugu and former Governor, Chris Ngige of Anambra State. They are both cosmopolitan in nature and has never discriminated against Igbos. ”
“El-Rufai has been known to attend church services occasionally and has always fought for infringed human rights, irrespective of tribe and Tambuwal helped many Igbo graduate job seekers with his office as Speaker of the House of Representatives more than even Igbo members of lower Chambers, therefore, we must reciprocate kind gestures. We shall liaise with Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the North to ensure that these two persons coast to victory”
The Co-coordinator of Igbo Mandate Congress in the North West, Chief Emeka Agweze was mandated to rally round member of IMC in the zone and the Igbo Community in these states for El Rufai and Tambuwal and also ensure that the candidates supported by Ohanaeze Northern Chapters in their individual states were successful.
It would be recalled that Ohaneze Ndigbo in the 19 Northern States (excluding FCT), with the support of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) and New Nigeria Mission Mandate Groups (NNMMG) refused to endorse Jonathan for Presidential elections on the grounds that there is no negotiated agreement on what his second tenure will do for Ndigbo, preferring that Igbos vote their conscience. This stance brought them recriminations from the pro-Jonathan led National Executives of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and cheers from prominent Igbo leaders.