Ohanaeze To Atiku: Apologise For Your ‘Divisive’ Comment

By Tony Adibe

The highest Igbo sociocultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has demanded that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, should without delay retract his statement on ‘divisive’ politics made in Kaduna on Saturday and apologise to the Igbo, and Southern region in entirety.

The Ohanaeze bemoaned the fact that Atiku’s “abysmally low and ill-advised” remark on the need for northerners to vote only a candidate from the northern region over candidates from other tribes, “is poignant and provocative”, and ought not to have come from a former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The spokesperson for Ohanaeze, Dr.  Alex Ogbonnia, in a statement issued in Enugu expressed disappointment in the Atiku speech, adding that, “It contradicts Atiku’s claims to being a cosmopolitan and de-tribalised Nigerian.

“That was a very provocative remark coming from a former Vice President of Nigeria. His remark perhaps brings out his mindset about the country. It’s a Freudian slip. Something that slips from somebody’s mouth unintentionally, which reveals the persons deep feeling about something.

“It is on record that the Igbo and the South voted for Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. They voted for Shehu Shagari, Umaru Yar’ adua and Muhammadu Buhari. So, why can’t there be reciprocity? He should have gone ahead with his campaigns without creating unnecessary ethnic tensions.

“That remark is abysmally low. It’s an ill-advised remark. It’s not good for the former vice president. He should find a way to withdraw that remark,” Ogbonnia added.

He further said: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide is disappointed by that remark by Atiku. This is because Ndigbo had voted for Shagari, Yar’Adua, Buhari and even supported all the military rulers from the North.

“So, Ohanaeze is calling on the former vice president to apologise to Nigerians and southerners in particular on that unfortunate remark. It is a divisive one.”

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