Several Igbo leaders, including Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Chairman of the Igbo Leaders of Thought, and the Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Joe Nwaorgu, had in recent times faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s planned probe of the Jonathan administration.
They stressed that limiting the probe to Jonathan’s government was an indication that Buhari was being influenced in his anti-graft campaign.
Reacting to the development, however, the South-East APC, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, told the concerned Igbo leaders to stop desecrating Igbo tradition by supporting Jonathan.
In the statement titled ‘Stop desecration of Igbo tradition’, the South-East APC spokesman wondered why Jonathan’s defence is being championed by Igbo leaders, rather than the ex-president’s Ijaw kinsmen.
The statement read in part, “The South-East Zonal Chapter of the All Progressives Congress calls on Igbo leaders, in the name of defending our dear ex-president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, to stop desecration of the long standing Igbo tradition and by extension, our revered ancestors.
“Our worry is that the timeless Igbo tradition, which admonishes us not to steal, and not to defend nor associate with rogues or even alleged rogues is being flagrantly breached by prominent Igbo sons, crying more than Ijaw sons and daughters.
“We are yet to locate any sentence where any of them, even our revered icon, erudite and constitutional lawyer, Professor Ben Nwabueze, in any form denied the mindless, pervasive and unbridled corruption which governed ex-president Jonathan’s regime. We stand to be corrected. Then why splash us with the mud?”
Okechukwu also condemned the Ohanaeze Ndigbo scribe’s argument that Buhari should extend the probe to the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He accused Nwaorgu of deliberately blocking a planned meeting between Buhari and Ohanaeze Ndigbo before the elections.
According to Okechukwu, Buhari conveyed his request for the meeting, where he intended to “chart the way forward with Ndigbo”, in a letter forwarded to the Ohanaeze Ndigbo secretariat in November 2014.
“May we appeal to Chief Joe Nwaorgu and his cohorts, if actually the interest of Ndigbo is what they are fighting for, to climb down from their high horses, drop their ancient stereotypes and stop the hate narratives and embrace the true position that Ndigbo stands to gain more from
President Buhari’s regime, if ever we gained from our massive support to former president Jonathan.
“Failing which, Chief Joe Nwaorgu and his cohorts, may wittingly or unwittingly confirm the allegation that they – Ndigbo ultra-defenders of Jonathan – were beneficiaries of presidential campaign slush funds”, Okechukwu added.
The South-East APC argued that “Ndigbo like all hard working groups in the country”, stand to gain more from Buhari’s administration than Jonathan’s, which it accused of dispensing patronage to cronies.
The party added that the Igbos are more likely to realise their wish to have one of their own as president of the country through Buhari.
According to Okechukwu “The Igbo ethnic merchants and gossip-terrorists who bandy all manner of conspiracy hate theories against President Buhari must come to terms that an eight-year tenure of the man of uncommon integrity is the surest route to actualisation of president of Igbo extraction, given the zoning convention”.