Socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has blamed politicians and governors of South East as the reason Igbos didn’t come out as presidential candidates at the national conventions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party.
According to Ohanaeze, Igbo leaders failed their people by working against the interest of their people.
Vice President of Ohanaeze, Ichie Damian Okeke-Ogene, stated this while addressing the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State Council, led by Dr. Odogwu Emeka Odogwu during a courtesy visit.
“In spite of sustained efforts and advocacy to ensure that most political parties, especially the major political parties field candidates of Igbo extraction as their presidential candidates. Things eventually did not work out that way, which I must say is very unfortunate for the country.
“On the recently concluded APC and PDP conventions, it is regrettable that the political class in the South East zone frustrated efforts of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in championing the course for presidency of Igbo extraction.
“It is sad to note that all the delegates to the conventions were more or less controlled by the leadership of their various political parties which was reflected in their voting pattern and was a slap on the expectations of South East geopolitical zone with exception of the Ebonyi State delegates who distinguished themselves as committed Igbo patriots and should be commended for their resilience.
“I must, at this juncture, state that the South East Governors Forum and Ohanaeze Ndigbo cannot be totally exonerated from the outcome of those conventions.
“Their actions made it clear that there is a leadership vacuum in the South East region because the failure of South East Governors to have a united front at this critical time is quite regrettable”, he said.
Okeke-Ogene said leaders of political parties in the geopolitical zone refused to unite and support one candidate each in PDP and APC before proceeding to the convention.
“They were so individualistic in their approach towards this fundamental and decisive issue to the extent that information we received alleged that some South East Governors coordinated delegates for candidates from other geo-political zones. For me, they failed Ndigbo.
“Similarly, Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership equally has some part of the blame because when it was obvious that the Governors were failing, Ohanaeze Ndigbo never met to discuss and invite the aspirants as we used to do before, to address them on the need to prune down number of aspirants.
“For this, I apologize to Ndigbo for our failure to do the needful. When I foresaw this coming, I made attempts to reach the Chairman of South East Governors Forum (Chief David Umahi) who did not respond to my calls.”