Senate presidency: Ohanaeze disowns Umahi

Apex Igbo cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has denied a news report claiming that they were angling for Senate presidency and projecting the Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state for the next Senate president.

Describing as an impostor Mr. Okechukwu Isiguzoro, who authored a statement as the Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo purportedly endorsing the Ebonyi state governor for Senate President, the group said it would never endorse Umahi as the next president of the 10th Senate.

But Ohanaeze Ndigbo, through the national publicity secretary, Dr. Alex Ogbaonnia, in a statement on Monday distanced itself from the said Senate Presidency slot, saying that they have confidence in the Labour Party, LP, candidate, Mr. Peter Obi to be the next president of Nigeria.

Ohanaeze also denied ever congratulating the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, maintaining their support for Obi’s presidency.

The statement reads: “the attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to the reckless and mischievous publication making the rounds that “Ohanaeze Ndigbo canvasses for Umahi’s Senate Presidency”. 

“The press statement issued by Mazi Okechuwu Isiguzoro, using the name of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, touted that the “Senate president in this dispensation should emerge from the South East of Nigeria”.  A few weeks ago, it was “Ohanaeze Ndigbo congratulates Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”. Two days ago, it was “Ohanaeze Ndigbo collects $400,000 from Wike” etc.

“Since the Ohanaeze election which was held on January 10, 2021, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has consistently reminded the general public that the Secretary General of the body is Ambassador Okey Emuchay, MFR and that publications of any kind coming from Isiguzoro should be ignored. 

“Ohanaeze was tempted to ignore the publication making the rounds on “canvassing for senate presidency” but since silence may be misconstrued as giving validity to such a whimsical figment of a transactional imagination, this prompt rebuttal becomes very imperative.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has sufficient evidence to prove that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi won the presidential election that was conducted on Saturday, February 25, 2023. We also have the supreme confidence that the unfolding events at various levels will surely vindicate the just.

“It is, therefore, a huge embarrassment that while the Afenifere, the PANDEF, the Middle Belt, the Arewa, the long oppressed Nigerian youths, the international community, etc are very busy, working hard for the enthronement of social justice, equity and good governance in Nigeria and to pluck the low hanging fruit, a meddlesome interloper will present Ohanaeze Ndigbo as a group without a focus on the ball and a sell out to the irrepressible Obi-Datti Movement.

“Let it be known that Ohanaeze does not antagonize the lofty ambition or the aspiration of anybody, but the illegitimate use of the hallowed name of Ohanaeze Ndigbo is both anatematic and reprehensible,” the organisation declared.

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