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Presidential poll: Ohanaeze Council of Elders commends Nigerians for voting Peter Obi

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.Ethnicity, religion influenced voting choices -Gbajabiamila

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Victor Duruamaku, Owerri  and Jonas Ezieke, Abuja


The Council of Elders of Ohaneze Ndigbo, has sent a thank you message to  Nigerians  for  their overwhelming  support  to  the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi  in the February 25, 2023 presidential  election.
In an official  statement  by  the chairman of the council, Chief Emmanuel C. Iwuanyanwu  the group expressed gratitude  to Nigerians for the support shown to Peter Obi during the election.
The statement  signed by Chief Iwuanyanwu  reads, “I wish on behalf of Ohanaeze Council of Elders Worldwide to express our profound gratitude to all Nigerians from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria who supported a very illustrious, patriotic, resourceful and dependable Nigerian His Excellency Mr. Peter Obi during the just concluded presidential election”.
He said, “for the avoidance of doubt, Mr. Peter Obi was not a candidate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, rather he was a candidate of many patriotic and concerned Nigerians who wanted a change for a new Nigeria.”
Iwuanyanwu also pointed out that Ohanaeze Ndigbo was conscious of the fact that under normal condition and by the zoning principle mutually agreed by all Nigerians, the President of Nigeria in the present dispensation should come from the South Eastern part of the country.
He expressed worry  saying, “to our surprise, some powerful groups did everything possible to deny the Southeast the opportunity to realize this.”
The  statement  noted  that most patriotic Nigerians were disappointed with the situation while many of them expressed their disappointment openly through various channels.
According  to  him, the South East prayed to God and no doubt Peter Obi’s emergence is God’s answer to our prayers and that of all Nigerians for a President who would rise to the grave challenges of leadership in Nigeria.
“The Ohanaeze Council of Elders is very proud and happy to observe that Peter Obi’s campaign and election were championed and led by Nigerians who are not Igbos”  the statement noted.

Iwuanyanwu, believed that  this experience has re-enforced our confidence in the Nigerian project  noting  that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo has other Igbo candidates contesting for President in other political parties, after a thorough analysis, Ohanaeze Ndigbo was convinced that Mr. Peter Obi possesses all the qualities required to give Nigerians the good leadership the country deserves at this time
He therefore said emphatically, “I want to, on behalf of Ohanaeze Council of Elders express our appreciation to the various groups like Afenifere, the PANDEF, the Middle Belt Forum and many other groups that very strongly supported Mr. Peter Obi for president.”
” Ohanaeze is aware that Mr. Peter Obi has gone to court to seek justice on the outcome of the presidential election. We want to state that Peter Obi has got our support. Ohanaeze Ndigbo however, will abide by the judgement of the court. Whoever emerges can count on our support.”
He recalled, “before the Presidential election, I on behalf of Ohanaeze Council of Elders, made an appeal to all groups to cooperate to ensure there was peace and calm in Southeast. I am glad to observe that through out the election, there was no kidnapping incident, arson or bloodshed in Igboland.
According to him, “The Elders are grateful to the various groups and we reaffirm our plan to have a Peace Summit in Igboland after the elections. We must join hands together to build Igboland and Nigeria where there will be peace, progress and development.”

Ethnicity, religion influenced voting choices -Gbajabiamila

In a related development, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the last elections were mainly about ethnicity and religion rather than performance.

He disclosed this when the executives of the House of Representatives Press Corps led by its Chairman, Grace Ike, visited him in his Abuja office.
He lauded the press corps for being supportive and playing a critical role in nation building.
He said the contribution of the press corps to the development of the country could not be quantified.
He regretted that the last National Assembly election was determined by factors besides the performance of lawmakers.
He said, “It was a hard won battle not just for me but for many of our colleagues on the floor there. All 360 of us. Many were unlucky. Some were lucky. I used the word ‘lucky’ deliberately because this election was not as it should be, not so much about the performance of members whether on the floor or in their constituencies. It was about a lot of other things. It was about religion. It was about ethnicity. It was about so many other things which I hope that as we develop as a nation, one’s election would be based solely, or at least mostly on his or her performance on the floor and in the constituency. That is what I hope would happen as we move along and that is why he mentioned the Electoral Act that was just passed.
“That is why I fought tooth and nail to make sure the Electoral Act adopted strictly the direct mode for primaries because of elections. Even though at the general elections members lost, a lot of members actually lost their elections at the primaries, where their acceptance by the constituents was not put to test. What was put to test was what one or two leaders in their constituencies determined whether they were returning or not. So we lost a lot of legislators even at the primaries level, and that does not help our democracy.
“So hopefully moving forward, we would perfect that document, the Electoral Act, which many people have celebrated but still not perfect yet. Hopefully we would be able to perfect it. So I thank you profusely for all the support you have given us, myself, the leadership and the House.
“Over the years, the last four years, you are part of this institution and I have enjoyed working with. I would continue to enjoy working with you. As many of you know, I would probably be a floor member now, which is how our democracy works. But being a floor member is not about what position you occupy but it is about what you contribute to lawmaking and governance and I will continue to do that irrespective of wherever I find myself.
“My colleagues have been very supportive. I have through no magic of mine but through the benevolence of God been able to hold the House together and hold my colleagues together, which in itself is a tall order if you follow the National Assembly over the years. Managing 359 other members is not an easy thing and I have always said that if you can be the Speaker of the Nigerian parliament you can thrive in any organization anywhere in the world.
“God has been so good that together with my colleagues, one has been able to do that. My hope is that whoever comes in as the next Speaker would be able to continue in that trajectory and build on the foundations that we have laid for the institution and even do better. So I thank you.”
Earlier, the chairperson, Comrade Grace Ike, congratulated the Speaker on his victory at the elections.
She lauded the Speaker on the leadership of the House by ensuring everyone is carried along, as well as his contribution to lawmaking and governance.
She commended him particularly for his efforts to the successful passage of the Electoral Act, which would ensure the right leaders are chosen by the people.
Ike said the corps will continue do its best to ensure the progress of democracy in the country.
Highlights of the visit included a presentation of a congratulatory card to the Speaker, as well as group photographs.

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