he Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has extolled its pan-Yoruba counterpart, Afenifere, for condemning the ethnic profiling and attacks on people of the Southeast (Igbos) living in Lagos State and other parts of the Southwest region of Nigeria.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo also backed Afenifere on insisting that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25 presidential election, Peter Obi, won the election in which Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared the winner.
Afenifere in a communiqué issued on Tuesday after its meeting condemned in the strongest terms, what it described as campaigns of calumny and acts of ethnic violence deployed by some politicians and their hired criminal gangs in several parts of the country during the governorship election, particularly in Lagos State.
It condemned a situation “where the election was made to appear like an inter-ethnic war between the Yoruba and Igbo which greatly led to voters’ suppression and other forms of deliberate disenfranchisement through brigandage.”
The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation maintained that the February 25, 2023 Presidential election was fraught with irregularities, saying the outcome of the polls is not a reflection of the will of the people and not in compliance with the Electoral Act.
“The results of the lawful votes at the Presidential election available to the Afenifere through credible sources confirm that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, won the said election and we, thus, support his decision challenging the contrary declaration by the INEC,” Afenifere had said.
Reacting to the communiqué by the Yoruba apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, applauded the organisation, saying that Afenifere has demonstrated true pan-Nigerianism.
Ogbonnia stated that “Ohanaeze Ndigbo salutes the courage, tenacity, dedication, robustness and unwavering commitment to the ideals of pan-Nigerianism and the continued existence of Nigeria without caring whose ox is gored.
“We applaud the resolutions of its meeting in its entirety and pray that God Almighty will continue to grant the Afenifere the wisdom and courage to always champion the cause of a better Nigeria.
“We are persuaded that the Afenifere’s 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.”
He further noted that “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.
“We thank the Afenifere for telling the world the true position on the February 25 Presidential election, which from available records was won by Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
“Furthermore, we commend the Afenifere for its reassurances of security and support to stranger communities in Yorubaland, particularly Lagos State and for reassuring our people that there is no war between the Yoruba and any other group in Nigeria, especially the Igbo.
“In addition, we commend the Afenifere for strongly condemning the “campaigns of calumny and acts of ethnic violence deployed by some politicians and their hired criminal gangs in several parts of the federation during the gubernatorial election, particularly in Lagos State where the election was made to appear like an inter-ethnic war between the Yoruba and the Igbo; which greatly led to voters’ suppression and other forms of brigandage and disenfranchisement”. Such rejection could not have come at a better time than this.
“We join Afenifere in restating our confidence in the judiciary with the hope that it will acquit itself creditably in the election litigations presently before it without fear or favour.
“Finally, we commend Afenifere for its wisdom and maturity in discountenancing the handiwork of mischief makers in an attempt to misrepresent the remarks by our patriotic, charismatic and detribalized leader, the Chairman, Council of Elders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu (Ahaejiagamba).
“Iwuanyanwu is a thoroughbred cosmopolitan, inter-ethnic unifier with diverse national and international contacts; and a committed champion of Nigerian unity. It is therefore inconceivable for Ahaejiagamba to contemplate an uncomplimentary remark against any group in Nigeria.
“We want to place on record that when the history of Nigerian travails is written, Chief Ayo Adebanjo will feature most copiously on the side of justice, nobility, honour, courage, character and integrity.”