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Igbo presidency: Northern Elders Forum slams Ohanaeze over threatening comments

Baba-Ahmed reminded Ohanaeze that Nigerians won't be blackmailed into making choices in the 2023 presidential election.

Igbo presidency: Northern Elders Forum slams Ohanaeze over threatening comments

What happened: The Northern organisation was reacting to a statement issued by the Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Mazi Okechukwu Isuguzoro, wherein the north was described as the bastion of ethnic and religious politics.

NEF therefore warned elders and leaders, including Ohanaeze, to show maturity and leadership, especially as campaigns for the upcoming election has kicked off, noting that such utterances in themselves connote threats and dangers.

The warning is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, September 29, 2022, by the NEF Director (Publicity and Advocacy), Hakeem Baba-Ahmed.

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Baba-Ahmed said Ohanaeze's comments is a de-marketing of the prospects of an Igbo presidency, adding that Nigerians, and Northerners in particular, will not be blackmailed into making choices that are not informed by their own interests

NEF statement read:The Northern Elders Forum is shocked at the statement released by Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Mazi Okechukwu Isuguzoro, in a language that is both irresponsible and damaging to its own interests.

“At a time when wise counsel dictates that Nigerians should be circumspect and disciplined in the manner they interact with the electoral process, the juvenile utterances of Isiguzoro must be condemned in the harshest terms.

“Mazi Isiguzoro singles out the North as the bastion of ethnic and religious politics while he unashamedly campaigns for Igbo presidency, complete with the threat that Nigeria will not be secure and united unless an Igbo President emerges.

“This damaging de-marketing of the prospects of an Igbo President will be hard to surpass. Nigerians, and Northerners in particular, will not be impressed or blackmailed into making choices that are not informed by their own interests. On the contrary, they will notice that the apex Igbo organization is virtually subverting one of its own, and blaming the rest of the country for the postures of political candidates.

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“For the purposes of clarity, it should be emphasized that Northern voters will not be stampeded or threatened by Ohanaeze Ndigbo. The North can identify ethnic and religious politics, and will see it clearly in this reckless statement coming from Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

“The Northern Elders Forum appeals to leaders and elders to show maturity and leadership as we embark on campaigns that are, in themselves, fraught with threats and dangers.

“The Forum advises Nigerians that the democratic system does not operate on the basis of threats and blackmail, and we should be prepared to support and vote for any candidates of our choices next year.”

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