The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has denied threatening to work against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the 2023 presidential election.
The group was reacting to a press release reportedly made by an unnamed person, on behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, which claimed the Igbos would rise against Mr Abubakar and reject the PDP in the South-east.
The statement was said to have been made after Mr Abubakar defeated other aspirants, including those from the South-east, at the PDP primary on Saturday.
But in a statement by its spokesperson, Chiedozie Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze Ndigbo disowned the statement, describing those behind it as “mischief makers, impostors, charlatans and unscrupulous social climbers”.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo regretted that those who issued the “fake press release” have been leeching on their footprints to deceive the unsuspecting members of the public, noting that their activities have been the bane to Igbo cohesion.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor has not issued any press statement on the candidacy of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,” Mr Ogbonnia said.
“Ohanaeze awaits with keen interest, the full outcome of the ongoing primaries by all the political parties before it can issue a press release with respect to the Igbo position on the 2023 general election,” he added.
The Ohanaeze spokesperson asked the public to disregard any statement which did not come from the group’s Secretary General, Okey Emuchay.
There have been calls from South-east leaders that the region should be allowed in 2023 to produce a president for the first time.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been at the forefront of the agitation for Nigerian president of South-east extraction.
The inability of an aspirant from the South-east to emerge presidential candidate of the PDP appeared to have infuriated some South-east residents.