By Johnkennedy Uzoma, Owerri.
An Elder Statesman and Chairnan Ohanaeze Council of Elders worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has expressed their profound gratitude to all Nigerians from the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria who supported Mr Peter Obi during the just concluded presidential election.
In a statement issued in Owerri Monday personally endorsed by him, Iwuanyanwu said that aware that Mr Obi has gone to court to seek justice on the conduct of the election, Ohaneze Ndigbo will abide by the judgement of the court.
Iwuanyanwu, on behalf of the Ohanaeze Council of Elders, expressed his appreciation to the various groups like Afenifere, the PANDEF, the Middle Belt Forum and many others that very strongly supported Mr Peter Obi for president.
He said: “for the avoidance of doubt, Mr. Peter Obi was not a candidate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, rather he was a candidate of many patriotic and concerned Nigerians who wanted a change for a new Nigeria”
He said that Ohanaeze Ndigbo was conscious that under normal conditions and by the zoning principle mutually agreed upon by all Nigerians, the President of Nigeria in the present dispensation should come from the South Eastern part the Country.
To their greatest surprise, according to him, some powerful groups did everything possible to deny the Southeast the opportunity to realize this.
According to him, most patriotic Nigerians were disappointed with the situation. Many of them also expressed their disappointment openly through various channels.
He said: “the South East prayed to God and no doubt Peter Obi’s emergence is God’s answer to our prayers and that of all Nigerians for a President who would rise to the grave challenges of leadership in Nigeria”.
He declared that the Ohanaeze Council of Elders is very proud and happy to observe that Peter Obi’s campaign and election were championed and led by Nigerians who are not Igbos.
The Igbo frontline politician said that experience had re-enforced their confidence in the Nigerian project.
He said: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo has other Igbo candidates contesting for President in other political parties, after a thorough analysis, Ohanaeze Ndigbo was convinced that Mr. Peter Obi possesses all the qualities required to give Nigerians the good leadership the country deserves at this time”.
He said: “i want to, on behalf of Ohanaeze Council of Elders express our appreciation to the various groups like Afenifere, the PANDEF, the Middle Belt Forum and many other groups that very strongly supported Mr. Peter Obi for president”.
He maintained that whoever emerges in the court can count on their support.
Iwuanyanwu said that before the presidential election, he, on behalf of the Ohanaeze Council of Elders, appealed to all groups to cooperate to ensure peace and calm in the Southeast.
He observed that there was no kidnapping incident, arson or bloodshed in Igboland throughout the election.
He said: “the Elders are grateful to the various groups and we reaffirm our plan to have a Peace Summit in Igboland after the elections”.
The chairman Ohaneze Ndigbo Elders Council Worldwide, calked for all hands to join together to build Igboland and Nigeria where peace, progress and development will occur.