- No regrets endorsing Atiku/Obi ticket –Ohanaeze
President General of the apex Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has described as regrettable a telephone call made to him by Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, where he allegedly said he did not know Nwodo was ‘idiotic’ apparently in reaction to Ohanaeze’s endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. However, despite pockets of mixed reactions trailing Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s endorsement of Abubakar and his running mate, Peter Obi, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation yesterday said that it has no regrets in the decision it has taken.
It will be recalled that some persons, particularly the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano and Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige had kicked against the endorsement of Atiku/ Obi ticket during the meeting of Imeobi, the highest decision making body of Ohanaeze last Thursday.
It was also reported that Governor Obiano went further to put a call across to Chief Nwodo, where he allegedly rained abuses on him, including saying that he was “idiotic”.
However, reacting to the development in an exclusive telephone chat with Sunday Telegraph, Special Assistant to Chief Nwodo on Media, Mr. Emeka Attamah, who spoke on behalf of his boss, confirmed that Obiano referred to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo “idiotic”, but insisted that Ohanaeze had no regrets in endorsing Abubakar for the presidential election. Attamah also confirmed that a statement credited to Nwodo, which has been circulating in the social media was authentic.
The statement in the social media reads: “Your Excellency Gov Obiano, I was surprised to receive a call from you a few minutes ago in which you said the following words ‘Nnia, I didn’t know that you were so idiotic’.
“I am shocked that you can be so insolent. “I am sure that I was not so idiotic when I addressed your State Assembly asking Ndi Anambra to disregard the IPOB boycott of your election nor was I idiotic when I pleaded with the Commander in Chief to restore your security details.
“History will judge who amongst us is idiotic. If standing with the popular wish of Ndigbo makes me idiotic I am happy to be called an idiot. “I will make this communication public so that Igbos will know who is idiotic amongst both of us.” Attamah said that the endorsement of Abubakar was in the strategic interest of Ndigbo and a bid to reintegrate them into the socioeconomic and political mainstream of Nigeria.
He said that those opposed to the endorsement are dong so for their selfish economic interest and not in the interest of Ndigbo. On Obiano calling Nwodo ‘Idiotic”, he said: “It is true, unfortunately”. On whether Ohanaeze is regretting the controversy the endorsement is generating he replied: “Not at all because there is no time all the politicians will agree on one thing. But those opposing it are doing so not because of the interest of Ndigbo. They are doing so for their selfish interest.”
He said that other sociocultural organisations like the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the Yoruba group, Afenifere and Middle Belt Forum; would soon follow suit to endorse the candidacy of former vice president, Abubakar. Meanwhile, the Anambra State Commissioner for Information Chief C Don Adinuba yesterday confirmed the war of words between Governor Willie Obiano and Chief John Nwodo.