The apex social cultural organization in South-East Nigeria, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has endorsed the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

The Igbo leadership group made its position known on Thursday after its meeting in Enugu.

In a communique personally signed by the President General of Ohaneze, Dr. Nnia Nwodo and made available to TheNigerialawyer in Abakaliki, the Igbo leaders said they chose Atiku over Buhari, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), because the PDP candidate has demonstrated his readiness to integrate the zone into the main stream of the nation’s politics by appointing their son and former Anambra governor, Mr. Peter Obi, as his running mate.

The highest decision making organ of the group, the Ime Obi, also said it took the decision to support Atiku because of their search for a polity that is just, egalitarian and inclusive.

The statement reads in full: “In its collective search for a polity that is just, egalitarian and inclusive, the Ime Obi Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo met today Thursday 24 January, 2019 at the Nike Lake Hotel, Enugu, to further deliberate on the future of Ndigbo in the chequered history of a beleaguered country.

“After a critical and dispassionate appraisal of the issues and the visible fault lines in our polity, including the analysis of the election manifestos of the various contesting parties, especially with regards to the restructuring of the federation and continued relevance of our people in the Nigerian geopolitical space, the meeting resolved as follows:

“That Ohanaeze remains the apex socio-cultural organization that works for the interest of the Igbo in and outside Nigeria. It attempts to aggregate the views of all other Igbo platforms.

“Ohanaeze notes particularly that a major political party (PDP) by the nomination of our son Peter Obi as the Vice presidential candidate has given Ndigbo an opportunity for inclusivity. Ndigbo must seize the moment;

“That the presidential candidate of PDP Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has made an avowed commitment to restructuring of the federation and reconfirmed same during his recent visit to the United States in his meetings high-level US officials;

“In consideration of the above and other relevant existential factors pertaining to the treatment of the Igbo in our polity, the Ime Obi Ohanaeze, therefore, hereby ratify the decision reached at the Ohanaeze National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held in Enugu on Tuesday 22 January, 2019, to adopt the Atiku Abubakar/Peter Obi ticket in the 2019 presidential election.

“Ime Obi therefore endorses and embraces fully, this ticket without equivocation, especially with regards to the position of Ndigbo at the AWKA Declaration which insisted on a complete restructuring of the Nigerian polity.

“Ohanaeze urges Ndigbo to see their PVCs as their most potent tool to ensure a restructured polity and for a better society.

“The meeting further called on the international community to help to ensure a free and credible 2019 elections in Nigeria; and

“Finally, Ohanaeze urges all Igbo to come out and vote and to protect their votes.”

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