The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said it won’t congratulate the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his vice president-elect, Kashim Shettima, now due to the declaration made by the second runner-up in the presidential election, Mr. Peter Obi, to challenge the victory in court.
Ohanaeze, through its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Alex Ogbonnia, said the group endorsed the announcement made by Obi with regard to the 2023 poll, noting that the election, when compared with previous ones, was marred by abnormalities.
Obi is from the South-East where the group is highly influential.
Ogbonnia told Sunday Vanguard that Ohanaeze does not doubt the capacity of the former Anambra State governor to recover his mandate on account of his past record.
He said: “The election was marred by a lot of irregularities that have not been recorded in history. To that extent, we endorse the speech made by Obi with respect to the 2023 election.
“Obi also highlighted the irregularities, he highlighted that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, gave us false impressions about how they will conduct the election, saying he is going to court to recover his mandate.
“I have no doubt in Obi’s capacity to recover his mandate because he had done so in Anambra. By God’s grace, by the time he recovers the mandate; everything in the scenario will change.
“So, we cannot begin to talk about the president-elect when we are sure that the wrong person has been declared winner. Obi said he has evidence that he won the election. To that extent, it is difficult for us to begin to embrace Tinubu as president-elect.”
Also speaking, a former President of Igbo think tank group, Aka Ikenga, and a chieftain of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, said: “Ohanaeze endorsed Obi and so did Afenifere and the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum.
“If all of them endorsed Peter and he is fighting, then they can’t be the ones dictating what to do or what not to do to the president-elect.
“As a matter of fact all they can do right now is to wish him (Obi) well, also tell the president-elect that if he is confirmed by the supreme court, he should remember to run an all-inclusive government without paying attention to who voted for or against him. If you notice also Ohanaeze has not congratulated the president-elect.
“Formally, Ohanaeze has actually rejected the results.”