By Emmanuel Uzodinma
A South-East socio-political organization, Njiko Igbo Forum, has described the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, leaders as cowards and bunch of ingrates.
Reacting to PDP’s zoning of its 2019 presidential ticket to the North, the Forum said it was a height of ingratitude to deny the South-East the presidential ticket despite getting block votes from the zone in 2015.
In a communique issued after its emergency meeting in Enugu, signed by its President, Rev. Okechukwu Obioha, the group said, “we consider the recommendation of Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s PDP committee and subsequent approval of PDP’s NWC that 2019 presidential candidate of the party will come from the North as an act of cowardice to electoral victory and ingratitude to Ndigbo.
“What this hasty declaration and politicking means is that if PDP wins in 2019, her candidate (a Northerner) will seek a second term constitutional provision; if the APC wins again in 2019, they will return the Presidency to the S/West and thereby elongating the chances of the South-East to the Presidency of this country-Nigeria.
“This is unacceptable to say the least. Njiko Igbo will intensify her efforts in making sure that any organized and coordinated party that puts up an Igbo as presidential candidate, will have our support.
“We will rather be in opposition than sale our birthright. After all, the S/West had stayed in the opposition for many years now and they are where they are today. Since PDP is hasty and selfish in starting the politics of 2019 Presidency now, Njiko Igbo will be hasty to let them know that we deliberately made a statement in 2015 general elections without apologies, and will repeat this feat in 2019 by rejecting them.
“We are a major partner in this project called Nigeria. We will never support PDP and will vote against her come 2019. We call on all patriotic Onye Igbo in PDP to begin to address their minds come 2019 that PDP will not have the blessing of Ndigbo as far as the Presidency is concerned. We are not visitors in this country-Nigeria.”
The Forum, which is an affiliate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo added that “we express our disappointment on our own Sen Ike Ekweremadu on chairing the committee that did that recommendation in the first instance. He should look for an appropriate fora to apologize for that unpatriotic show.
“We reiterate that Njiko Igbo Forum has no regret for joining forces to vote down APC in the general elections of 2015 especially the Presidency. because we wanted to make a statement. This is why we are not and will not complain of the divisionary tendencies President Mohammed Buhari has shown so far concerning Ndigbo in the running of his government, vis avis every of his appointments made and his support and calculated attempt to have Ndigbo absent in the three tiers of government. It is been very remarkable! This is why we make bold to say that no further appointments will assuage us from believing that we are part of this government.
“We request President Muhammadu Buhari as our Commander in Chief to tread and treat with caution the harassment and arrests of Igbo Indigenes by several security agencies in the guise that they are clamouring for Biafra. The other day, Yoruba Elders openly threatened to secede and declared a war against the Fulani Herdsmen, and nothing has happened to them.
“Yes, Ndigbo may have been defeated in war as declared by Junaid Mohammed and Arewa Consultative Assembly, but we are not vanquished in any way at all. We hold the ace and the scepter of this country. This is a proven fact!”