Presidential election: Ohanaeze hails Afenifere

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The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has lauded the Pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, for telling the world “the true position” regarding the February 25 presidential election.

Ohanaeze said it was not “unmindful of Afenifere’s role in restoring democracy to Nigeria through the platform of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO).

Ohanaeze said Afenifere leaders, “with alliances across the national divide and the international bodies, launched the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), which eventually gave birth to the Committee for Unity and Understanding (CUU), among others,” and thanked Afenifere “for telling the world the true position on the February 25 presidential election.”

It also commended Afenifere for exonerating the chairman of Ohanaeze’s Council of Elders, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, over an alleged anti-Yoruba comment, noting that Afenifere disassociated itself from reports that it berated Iwuanyanwu for allegedly calling the Yoruba people “political rascals.”

The group stated this in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Alex Ogbonnia, in Enugu on Sunday.

It was reported that Mr Iwuanyanwu had, while speaking in Awka, Anambra, on Saturday at the event to mark the one year in office of Governor Charles Soludo, condemned individuals fuelling ethnic strife in Lagos.

Ohanaeze commended Afenifere, led by Ayo Adebanjo, for dissociating itself from the handiwork of mischief-makers attempting to misrepresent Mr Iwuanyanwu’s remarks.

“The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to the communiqué issued by the Afenifere at the end of its monthly meeting held at the residence of its leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, at Isanya-Ogbo, Ogun state, Nigeria,” stated the Igbo group.

The statement said Ohanaeze was “persuaded that the Afenifere resolutions as published are fundamental and foundational to the current socio-political crisis gnawing at the heart of Nigeria; and that those resolutions speak truth to the conscience of the powers that be in Nigeria.”

It added, “Ohanaeze supports those resolutions in all ramifications and joins in calling on the president and government of Nigeria to, as a matter of urgency, restore public confidence and hope in the Nigerian project.”