The Zikist-Buharists-Movement (ZBM), a group rooting for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress (APC), on Sunday applauded Ohanaeze Ndigbo for refuting the reported endorsement of the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Veloxnews reports that the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Mr Chuks Ibegbu had disclosed on Thursday in Enugu at a media briefing, declared that, “It is erroneous to say that we endorsed Atiku. Ohaneze Ndigbo did not endorse anybody. That meeting at Nike Lake Resort was organised by friends of Atiku. However, due to our peculiar circumstance in the country, we will identify with candidates that will restructure Nigeria if voted into power.”
Reacting in a statement signed by Barrister Godwin Onwusi, Acting Zonal Secretary, ZBM said its commendation of Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership “is predicated on the truism that it is not politically correct for Ndigbo to endorse His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, given the prevailing political scenario of rotation of president between north and south, especially where two Fulani Muslim brothers – Buhari and Atiku – are front runners in the 2019 presidential election.
“We are enthusiastically gratified that Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership has come to terms with realpolitik; unlike in 2015, when they placed all Igbo eggs in one basket. For not only that Buhari is fixing critical infrastructure which Atiku and his party the PDP abandoned for 16 years, but has only four years left post 2019 presidential election. Buhari’s remaining 4 years is cast on constitutional stone, while Atiku’s is 8 years. To the best of our knowledge Atiku had not pledged to anybody that he will run for only 4 years.”
The statement read further: “ZBM took a careful analysis of the two front runners in the 2019 presidential race and solemnly thank Almighty God that the two principal fault lines are providentially cancelled – ethnicity and religion cards. Thus Almighty God that thrust President Buhari and His Excellency Atiku Abubakar as Fulani Muslims saved the country the fuse which normally is ignited by the fault lines.
“They are also both septuagenarians. It means that the election will be seamless as it will be based on issues and character of the two candidates.”
The ZBM maintained that Buhari’s victory would be a win-win-scenario, among which is the golden opportunity his victory provides in the actualisation of Nigeria President of Igbo extraction in 2023. We regard this index as vital for it shall end the vexatious issue of marginalisation of Ndigbo since after the civil war and create a sense of belonging.
ZBM stated that, “We are happy with Ohaneze clarification because it is absolutely necessary following misconceptions on the event of Nov. 14, 2018 where some spin doctors spread the news that Igbo leadership had endorsed the candidacy of Atiku Abubakar for 2019 presidential election.
“Accordingly, we salute Ohaneze leadership for putting the collective interest of Ndigbo to produce Nigeria president of Igbo extraction in 2023, above narrow pecuniary interest. We pray that Ohaneze should remain steadfast and bear in mind that our voting for Buhari will better enhance Ndigbo alliance with the North. We need the Northern region where Mr President has a Vote-Bank of 10-12 million voters, as reflected in the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 presidential elections. This is the pattern of grand alliance the great Zik of Africa had designed for Ndigbo.”
On the issue of restructuring being bandied by Atiku, ZBM submits, “whereas Atiku restructuring mantra is appetising, the truism is that it cannot be done by Fiat-Executive-Order, but by consensus via the amendment of the rigid 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And to be honest the AtikuPlan is neither elaborate nor emphatic on restructuring as being re-echoed by some of our brothers. Which means that all that glitters are not gold.”