By Monday Ukoha
Amidst the outcry that trailed media reports credit to President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mallam Mamman Daura to the effect that the next president of the country would be chosen based on competence and not ‘turn by turn’, a faction of the apex Igbo socio cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has thrown its weight behind Daura’s position.
The faction led by the organisation’s Secretary General, Dim Uche Okwukwu in a statement made available to Daily Tracker in Enugu, said Ndigbo would eventually be the major beneficiaries of the demand for competence as yardstick for the choice of President Buhari’s successor.
“Notably, Mallam Daura’s statement clearly supports the position of Ohanaeze and Ndigbo who stand to benefit from the full implementation of his narrative as we are not afraid of terms like merit, competence and qualification. We are proud of Daura as this proposed new order will benefit us more on the long run,” Okwukwu said.
In his statement titled ‘In defence of Daura’s vision’, Okwukwu said the initial statement issued on behalf of the President General of the organisation, Chief Nnia Nwodo by his (Nwodo’s) Media Adviser, Chief Emeka Atama, did not represent the position of the organisation in its entirety.
The statement read in part: “We read with shock and dismay the unenlightened and ill-informed statement credited to one of the employees of Chief John Nma Nwodo,Mr. Emeka Atama, who in his response to Mallam Mamman Daura’s call on Nigerians to place competence and merit as the determinant factors for the 2023 presidency and not rotation opined that Ndigbo are not in support of Daura’s Vision for an idea and ideal that will promote unity, peace and development in Nigeria.
“Regrettably, Mr. Atata without the mandate and authority of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo purportedly represented Ohanaeze as the umbrella body of the South East Region of Nigeria where as the organization is the umbrella body of all Igbos. It is important to state that there are indigenous Igbo in Abia, Imo, Anambra, Deta, Rivers, Ebonyi, Enugu, Edo and Akwa Ibom States.
“This is not true as Mr. Atama is not an officer of the Ohanaeze, therefore, he cannot validly speak for and on behalf of the body. Notably, Mallam Daura statement clearly supports the position of Ohanaeze and Ndigbo who stands to benefit from the full implementation of his narrative as we are not afraid of terms like merit, competence and qualification.
“We are proud of Daura as this proposed new order will benefit us more on the long run. Nwodo and Atama are card carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and tenaciously mobilized both human and material resources against the APC and President Buhari both in 2015 and 2019, therefore, cannot objectively, fairly and validly comment on Daura statement.
“We are sure that APC as a progressive party will continue to do justice to all groups and perspectives in Nigeria as they have done in the sharing of offices and positions and in the equitable and fair allocation of projects since 2015. Ndigbo wish to state unequivocally there is nothing like South East 2023 Presidency.
“We are committed to the realization of a Nigerian President who will emerge on the strength of competent, merit and qualification. We urge Nwodo, Atama and their co-travellers to leave Mallam Daura and the APC alone as he is a true friend and ally of Ndigbo in our struggle to secure and advance our collective interest in a more united, peaceful, prosperous and humane nation.”
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