They disclosed this when a delegation of the leaders met with the President General of the Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, in Enugu to congratulate him for his ‘enlightened, focused and selfless leadership of Ndigbo in the trying period before and during the last elections.’
The delegation was led by Senator Ben Obi and included former governors Achike Udenwa and Okwesilieze Nwodo, Senator Azu Agboti, pioneer Chairman, Niger Delta Development Commision, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu and former ministers, Chief Dubem Onyia and Professor Alphonsus Nwosu.
Addressing newsmen on Sunday after the meeting that lasted throughout Saturday night, Professor Nwosu said the delegation visited the Ohanaeze leader to thank him “for standing firm on the principle of Igbo position for the restructuring of Nigeria based on greater devolution of power and resources from the centre to the federating units and praised the President General for ignoring saboteurs of Igbo cause because he has been vindicated by the massive Igbo votes along the direction that Ohanaeze had endorsed.”
The delegation pledged their personal unflinching support and loyalty for the President General and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to ‘ensure that this task of restructuring Nigeria for the benefit of all citizens is accomplished.’
Nwosu said, “The delegation was proud that the principled stand of Ndigbo on restructuring was galvanised by Ohanaeze Ndigbo under the very capable leadership of the President General and this resulted in the massive turnout of Ndigbo at the last general elections not only in the South East but throughout Nigeria and vowed to assist the President General to ensure that Nigeria shall continue to feel the weight of Igbo votes until restructuring is accomplished, and those who continue to ignore Igbo votes in Nigeria do so at their risk.
The delegation pleaded with the President General to ‘ignore the activities of a few Ndigbo to sabotage the collective Igbo view’ since the Igbo votes strongly endorsed his position, but frowned ‘seriously on the sell-out of Ohanaeze Ndigbo by the Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo’ and urged that he should be strongly sanctioned.
The Igbo leaders reiterated that the task of restructuring Nigeria into a nation that works for all its citizens and not just for only a section of its citizens, remained the top priority agenda of Ndigbo in Nigeria, and as the Igbo adage says, “the jaws do not rest until what is being chewed is finished,” the President General must ensure that this burning desire of Ndigbo for the restructuring of Nigeria continues to remain in the front burner of Nigerian politics.
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The task for Ndigbo now, according to the leaders, is to design the post general election agenda; to maintain Igbo solidarity such that the Igbo post-election agenda is not distracted by those lobbying for positions in government and those positioning to be president in 2023.
“The Igbo wisdom of struggling for where to sleep before fighting for the mat to sleep on should guide our post-election strategy,” he warned.
“The icing on the cake for Ndigbo was the election of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State which clearly showed that Ndigbo are resolved to start redressing the wrongs of the last few years from inside Igboland.”