The recent apology to President Muhammadu Buhari by a faction of Ohanaeze ndigbo has provoked the ire of Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri.
Preaching at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, Sunday, February 10, Archbishop Obinna described the apology as an act of foolishness and wondered what has become of ndigbo in recent times.
For ndigbo to go to Buhari to plead “mea culpa” over adoption of Atiku/Obi for the 2019 Presidential election by Chief Nnia Nwodo- led Ohanaeze is an insult on ndigbo, Archbishop Obinna said.
His grace who was apoplectic with rage at the action said: “How foolish can we become. Are these the same Igbos that were once respected by other tribes and even called megida (master)? Now we have become slaves.”
Condemning the confusion in the Igbo Apex body, the prelate called on ndigbo to rise and recover their dignity and integrity, no matter the stress they are going through now, for it is better to die with some dignity than to die as a slave in misery.
It should be recalled that a faction of Ohaneze Ndigbo trooped to Abuja last week to apologize to President Muhammadu Buhari, over the comment credited to its President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, endorsing the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku/ Obi.
The obsequious group led by embattled Ohaneze Secretary-General, Barr. Uche Okwukwu, from Ikwerre, told Buhari that Nwodo is on an indefinite suspension pending the outcome of a nine-man panel headed by Mr. Richard Ozobu to investigate “acts of misconduct and abuse of office as well as bringing Ohanaeze to public disgrace, submits its report.”
The apology was tendered when Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Association of Eze Ndigbo in 19 northern states, the World Igbo Congress and the World Igbo Union, were in the presidential villa on a courtesy visit Friday, February 8. According to Okwukwu, the indefinite suspension of Nwodo bordered on the endorsement of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi ahead of the presidential election on February 16th.
Okwukwu said, the Igbo identify with Buhari’s achievements of improving ease of doing business in the south east. He said the Igbo will vote massively for him and will resist any attempt to manipulate or rig the elections.
Recall that after the endorsement of the PDP’s Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, by the Chief John Nnia Nwodo-led Ohaneze Ndigbo on the day President Buhari visited Anambra and Enugu states for his campaign rally, the Secretary-General opposed the endorsement and later announced that President Buhari had been adopted as the Presidential candidate of Ohaneze.
This development attracted expulsion of the Secretary-General by the Nnia Nwodo leadership, but in a bid to fight back, Okwukwu also announced that the President General, Nwodo had been expelled and that a probe committee was set up to investigate him (Nwodo).
Responding, Buhari said he is impressed by the show of support from the regional body, which demonstrates unity in diversity, noting that “diversity is our biggest asset that we must apply in the development of the nation.” He said perpetrators of crime whether in security, economy and corruption are from all tribes and that his administration will not discriminate in its response. He said he has identified key challenges for all regions and he will do his best to address them.
Part of the delegation included the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige who was the arrow-head of the visit, the Vice Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, Hon. Lawrence Onuchukwu and members of World Igbo Union.