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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ohaneze breaks Orji Kalu’s heart, tells him, “drop 2015 Presidential ambition”

In what seems like a script plotted from the top, the President General of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Mr. Gary Nnachi Enwu-Igariwey, recently said the organisation had appealed to prominent Igbo politicians to shelve their ambitions to contest for president in 2015, by working with the body to articulate the way forward. SHOWBIZPLUS reliably gathered that the move was aimed at helping President Goodluck Jonathan to win the 2015 Presidential elections, when he finally declares.
Enwu-Igariwey, who spoke to journalists shortly after holding consultations with the former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, at his residence in Abuja, said the body was consulting with prominent Igbo leaders and all the critical stakeholders in the Igbo nation in order to arrive at a unified approach for the 2015 elections.

“We feel it will be quite strategic if we can speak with one voice. We no longer want a situation where we will be speaking with different voices, that was why we came to rob minds with him as one of those who has declared his presidential ambition.  We have come to appeal to him to shelve his ambition in the interest of the Igbo nation,” he said.
Ohaneze  Ndi Igbo is made up of a collection of Igbo elders, leaders  and those in top government positions, who constitute the inner caucus of its  decision-making apparatus.
The President General said the reason for asking Kalu and other notable Igbo sons and daughters to shelve their intentions was to enable them key into Ohaneze’s new platform for actualising the dream in the politics of the country.
The Ohaneze leader, who failed to state whether or not the move was meant to give President Goodluck Jonathan a chance, said the apex Igbo cultural body would soon meet to analyse the political situation before making  public its position and interests on the 2015 presidency.
Enwu-Igariwey, also expressed dismay at the statement credited to the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), where it threatened to take the former Chief of Army Staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika, to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
According to him, the least that is expected from every patriotic citizen is to encourage the military in their sacrifice and not to disparage them as the northern elders seem to be doing.
“We object to the threat by NEF to drag the former Chief of Army Staff, Ihejirika to the world court  and demand that they withdraw that forthwith,” he said.
The President General, who used the opportunity to state that there are no factions within Ohaneze, added that it was the only body that had the authority to speak for the Igbo interest.
Speaking on the proposed national dialogue, Enwu-Igariwey  said some of the suggestions the organisation put forward to help the national  dialogue was that there should be equal representation from all the six geo-political zones, and that each zones should try to nominate delegates from all the ethic nationalities from the place.
He said in order to ensure that the national dialogue had legal backing, the president should send an executive bill to the National Assembly to enact an Act to cover it.
Enwu-Igariwey said Ohaneze suggested that everything about the dialogue, including the approval of a new constitution through a national referendum should be concluded before the tenure of this government so that the incoming government would apply it.
Kalu, in his remarks, pledged to abide by the position of the Ohaneze to shelve his presidential ambition, expressing the hope that the body would  allow  Igbo interest to be paramount in their decisions.
He pledged to meet with Prof. Ben Nwabueze and other members of the rival Igbo Elders’ Forum (IEF) on how to form a common front on Igbo agenda.
While commenting on the just released 2015 general election timetable, Kalu said even though he may no longer take part in the contest, there was nothing wrong with the schedule of the elections.
He urged politicians not to complain every time INEC comes up with a timetable, adding that what a serious politician would do was to campaign and educate the electorate properly on how to make informed choices at the polls.
However, Kalu urged INEC to reconsider fixing elections on Saturdays, saying many Nigerians use the day to worship God.
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