THE Vice President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ichie Damian Okeke-Ogene has described the All Progressive Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu’s decision to pick a fellow muslim as his Vice Presidential candidate for the 2023 election as a serious threat to the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria.
Addressing reporters in Awka, Okeke-Ogene, however told the APC presidential candidate that it is still not too late to correct the anomaly as he could change his running mate before the deadline.
Describing Nigeria as a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country, the Ohaneze leader made it clear that any attempt by one religion to dominate the political structure could only widen the gap of mistrust and destroy the delicate sense of tolerance cultivated over the years.
According to him, the choice of the muslim — muslim ticket was not only ill-timed, but also a total disregard to the diversity of the country, noting that it had undermined efforts of well- meaning Nigerians over the years to bridge the religious differences and promote ethnic harmonious co-existence.
He said Tinubu’s desperation to be President of Nigeria has thwarted efforts and sacrifice of former President Goodluck Jonathan to consolidate on corporate existence of the country when he stated that his political aspiration was not worth shedding the blood of any Nigerian,
He observe that from the actions of the APC presidential candidate, it would appear he is not interested in the unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria as a country.
He pointed out that with the challenge of insecurity across the country and widening ethnic divide and agitations, it is satanic for anybody to introduce muslim muslim ticket at this point in time.
Okeke-Ogene commended the leadership of Pan Yoruba socio-political organization, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and the convener Pan Niger Delta Forum and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark for remaining vocal and speaking out on issues affecting Nigerians, noting that South-West and South-South socio-cultural organizations have been consistent in pointing out the injustice meted out to South-East Zone and have been supporting agitations for equity, fairness and good conscience.
Okeke – Ogene also spoke on the presidential candidate of Labour Party Mr. Peter Obi, arguing that he represents the face of new Nigeria without any ethnic coloration, noting that his emergence has engendered a tsunami-like movement across the country made up of Nigerians from all the ethnic groups in the country.
He assured that Ohanaeze Ndigbo would give Obi the necessary support and encouragement, like other Nigerians to actualize his aspirations and change the narrative in the country.
He urged the New Nigeria Movement supporting Obi and the Labour Party to disregard those speaking from both sides of their mouths, expressing satisfaction that youths of Nigeria were out and determined to take ownership of their country and make a clear difference.
He also expressed hope that votes of the electorate would count in the 2023 presidential election to give birth to a new Nigeria.