The endorsement of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by Ohaneze Ndigbo has set Willie Obiano, governor of Anambra state, against Nnia Nwodo, president-general of the socio-cultural organisation.
The apex Igbo organisation had cited Atiku’s promise to restructure the country as the reason for endorsing him.
Shortly after choosing Atiku over President Muhammadu Buhari, the Anambra government issued a statement where it distanced itself from the action of the group.
But PUNCH quoted Nwodo as saying Obiano later contacted him to call him an “idiot” over the endorsement.
The president-general reportedly said the Anambra governor acted that way because he had vowed to deliver the votes in the state to Buhari.
“Your Excellency Gov Obiano, I was surprised to receive a call from you a few minutes ago in which you said the following words, ‘Nnia, I didn’t know that you were so idiotic’,” Nwodo reportedly said.
“I am shocked that you can be so insolent. I am sure that I was neither so idiotic when I addressed your state assembly asking Ndi Anambra to disregard IPOB’s boycott of your election nor was I idiotic when I pleaded with the commander-in-chief to restore your security detail.
“History will judge who amongt us is idiotic. If standing with the popular wish of Ndigbo makes me idiotic, I am happy to be called an idiot.
“I will make this communication public so that Igbo will know who is idiotic amongst both of us.”
‘Obiano should apologise to Ohanaeze’
Ohanaeze Ndigbo has berated Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano for his “derogatory and imprudent” remarks against its leader, Nnia Nwodo. It said the governor should apologise to the group.
A statement by spokesman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the Southwest, Prince Erondu Uche, said: “I condemn the derogatory and imprudent statement credited to Willie Obiano, against the venerated Ohanaeze Ndigbo and our highly respected and fearless leader, Nnia Nwodo. Such statements, coming from a serving governor who has benefitted so much from Ohanaeze, can best be described as a sign of ingratitude.
“It is quite untoward and disappointing to note that a man, who is shining today because of the solid foundation laid by Peter Obi, had the effrontery to insult Ndigbo because of the same man. Based on the reactions emanating from the endorsement of Atiku’s candidature by Ohanaeze, I want Nigerians and the world to note that – the decision by Imeobi to endorse Atiku/Obi was unanimously done; the endorsement is for the best interest of Ndigbo which is above any personal interest; Ohanaeze, under the Nnia Nwodo, is not divided but one indivisible entity.
“I also wish to remind Obiano that as a leader, the people’s interest comes first, irrespective of party affiliations. I therefore demand – a public withdrawal of the said statement; a written apology addressed to Ohanaeze and Nnia Nwodo, which must be published in the national dailies.
“I also encourage our able leader, Nnia Nwodo, to disregard the statement and continue to remain focused.”