There appears to be a crack within the camp of the leadership of the Ohaneze Ndigbo as to who to support in the upcoming general elections especially among the three leading presidential candidates namely, Peter Obi, Bola Tinubu and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

According to media reports, the division among the leaders of the apex Igbo organization followed a statement by the Media Head, Office of the Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Dr Nkpa Kanu-Uduma, that the trio had been invited as special guests at the 2022 Igbo Day celebration.

Part of the statement had read: “The theme of this year 2022 Igbo Day is Igbo Ekunia in the myriad of insecurity and economic challenges confronting the Igbo; resilience of the Igbo will make Ndigbo rise and come out stronger in every situation and turn it into gold mines. This will be captured in 2022 Igbo Day.

“The presidential candidates will be special guests at the event with special prayers for the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi. APC and PDP presidential candidates: Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar will be adorned with special titles.

“All Igbo clergymen will lead the prayer sessions on September, 29, 2022. Igbo governors from the seven Igbo-speaking states will be the special guests. All socio-ultural organisations will be welcome at the event,” the statement emphasised.

The disagreement among the Igbo leaders comes as former President Olusegun Obasanjo is said to have cautioned Ndigbo against projecting the bid by Obi as an Igbo presidency project.

Obasanjo reportedly gave the advice at a recent meeting with the leadership of the pan-Igbo organisation.

However, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo under the leadership of Ambassador George Obiozor disowned the other group of leaders behind the invitation to the candidates, urging the public to discountenance the message issued by those it described as «mischief-makers.”

Speaking through a statement by the national publicity secretary, Chief Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, the leaders accused those behind the invitation as attention seekers, who they said, should be treated the way they deserved.

The leaders called on the governor of Abia State,  Dr Okezie Ikpeazu and the president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the state, Comrade Okey Nwankwo, “to ensure that those attention seekers are given the appropriate treatment they deserve, in the event they insist on their usual unscrupulous penchants.”

The leaders stated: “The attention of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to the press release by mischiefmakers to the effect that “Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, has invited the presidential candidates of the All Peoples Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, to grace the 2022 Igbo Day celebrations as special guests.

“The group went on to state that the ‘trio, will be adorned with special titles.’ The group also intends to offer ‘special prayers for the three presidential candidates’ all at the same time.”

“In the first place, it is a strange political intrigue to adorn three presidential candidates or rivals ‘with special titles’ and also to offer ‘special prayers for the three presidential candidates.’

“This is the height of treachery for which the Ohanaeze Ndigbo should never be associated with.

“The foregoing fraudulent activities by a few mischievous Igbo dissidents have been variously condemned by eminent Igbo stakeholders.

“The worst recrudescence is the satanic bait with which some loose academics are attracted to the impostors.

“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor calls on the unsuspecting public to ignore the charlatans who misrepresent the hallowed name of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation for narrow, interest.

“Obiozor reminds the general public that Ohanaeze Ndigbo does not engage in frivolities and childish display on serious issues of national interests.

“The three presidential candidates are hereby advised to keep a safe distance from the social climbers, tricksters, shameless impostors and mischief makers.”

“Most unfortunately, the characters involved in the fake Igbo Day are those who are still fascinated by the unfortunate, infamous, ignoble and odious roles they played in the offices they held in the apex Igbo organisation for over 10 years ago.

“We once again appeal to the mischief-makers to appreciate that Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide represents the history, emotions, collectivity, spirituality, unity and strength of the Igbo nation and that the Igbo, all over the world owe a profound emotional attachment to their apex socio-cultural organization, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.

“It is in the best interest of the elevated Igbo minds that our sacred identity should not be desecrated on the whims, caprices and immediacies of the unrepentant blackballs.

Finally, the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu and the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide in Abia State, Comrade Okey Nwankwo, are hereby enjoined to ensure that those maladjusted attention seekers are given the appropriate treatment they deserve, in the event they insist on their usual unscrupulous penchants.

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