We never demanded money as condition to support president of S’east extraction — Ohanaeze5 min read
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has debunked reports that it demanded payments as a condition to support a Nigerian president from the Southeast extraction.
Ohanaeze in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Dr Alex Ogbonnia described the report which is been peddled by one Kennedy Iyere as mere falsehood designed to tarnish the image of the Igbo group.
While describing Mr Kennedy Iyere as a pernicious sharp knife, Ogbonnia however, noted that some of the names mentioned in the purported video are in fact the pillars of the current national movement.
The statement reads, “Our attention has been drawn to a social media clip making the rounds indicating that Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide demanded payments from one Comrade Kennedy Iyere as a condition to support a Nigerian President from the South East. This is the most fallacious, mendacious and callous of all the falsehoods aimed at tarnishing the image of the Igbo as the Judas category that values money more than human conscience.
“On the advocacy for a president from the South East of Nigeria, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo took the message to all parts of Nigeria; including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar III; Chief E K Clarke, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the British High Commission and so many other places.
“The delegations comprised the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Professor George Obiozor; the former President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, former President General, Chief Gary Igariweh, the Secretary General, Ambassador Okey Emuchay; National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia; others include Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, HRH Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, Professor Anya O Anya, Chief Simon Okeke, Professor Charles Nwekeaku, among others. Several other Igbo activists and interest groups such as Nzuko Umunna led by Senator Chris Anyanwu, Arc Ferdinand Agu, etc were also at the fore-front in the advocacy.
“On December 13, 2021, I personally addressed an Open Letter to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, reminding him that it is the turn of the South East to produce a president for Nigeria and urging him not to contest the 2023 presidency on the grounds of equity, justice and fairness. (2023: Open Letter to H.E. Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu By …https://globalpatriotnews.com › News › Local). I also wrote Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, reminding him that the current Igbo travails is as a result of our support to his candidacy in 2019. A simple search on the Internet will reveal that Ohanaeze had made numerous press releases urging Nigerians and the international community to lend support to the quest by the South East for presidency.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo further propagated the advocacy to the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders (SMBLF) led by Chief E K Clarke, and Chief Nnia Nwodo as the Coordinator General. Other leaders of the SMBLF include Chief Ayo Adebanjo, the Leader of the Afenifere; Dr Pogu Bitrus, Leader, Middle Belt Forum, among others. Our gratitude goes to the SMBLF for their irrevocable position to support an Igbo of the South East for presidency in 2023.
“Similarly, we thank Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for receiving us in his Abeokuta residence about three times. I am inwardly delighted that the unwavering position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has gained a global momentum and unprecedented volcanic eruptions of human passions across the country. Above all, the Ohanaeze message has found expression, resonance and traction in the irrepressible power that is inherent in the Nigerian masses.
“In the social media clip making the rounds, orchestrated by one Comrade Kennedy Iyere, he alleged that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief Nnia Nwodo demanded payments from him to attend a meeting at Awka for a Nigerian president from the South East. The truth of the matter: In October 2020, Chief Damian Okeke Ogene, former President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter was contacted by Chief Iyere to invite the seven state presidents from the seven Ohanaeze states. Ogene explained to Iyere that members would be coming to Awka from distant places such as Port Harcourt, Owerri, Aba, Ebonyi and that it would not be possible for them to go back to their locations on the same day. Iyere promised to secure hotel accommodation for the seven persons, and that he would also pay for their transport costs. At the meeting in one hotel at Awka, Iyere was seated with White men and he highlighted the unbearable injustice to the Igbo by the past Nigerian leaders and the equity in a South Easterner to become the president of Nigeria come 2023.
“Paradoxically, we were very delighted and also curious that a non-Igbo and White men were championing an Igbo cause. At the end of the meeting, he pleaded with us to manage seventy thousand naira (N70, 000.00); that is, ten thousand Naira each, as transport costs. Some of us refused the money while some others reasoned that it could be misinterpreted if we rejected the ten thousand Naira each. I am rather shocked by the depravity and a kindergaten shenanigan with which Iyere painted his encounter with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo; that Ohanaeze Ndigbo demanded payment from him in order to support an Igbo for presidency.
“This is the most morally reprehensible fabrication from the pit of hell. Surely, we failed to attend his subsequent meetings for two reasons: through a Freudian slip, a stench character deficit became manifest in his maneuvers at Awka; second, he espoused hate, invectives and unwholesome remarks against our then President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, simply because, according to him, Nwodo did not pick his phone call. In the clip that has gone viral, several eminent Igbo sons were mentioned in bad light; for me, Comrade Kennedy Iyere is a pernicious sharp knife within; a conflict entrepreneur, social wasteland, political juggler, stumbling amateur, windbag, mischief maker, name dropper and a mundane predator, best to be avoided.
“Unfortunately, hard as he may try, most of the names that Iyere dropped in the social media are the cream Igbo titans, political avatars, tested moral edifice, pure, decent and very much above reproach and his cheap and unreflective tarnish; in fact the pillars of the current national movement.”