- Elders from the southeast are not happy with the recent visit made by Chukwuemeka Ezeife to Kashim Shettima
- Some elders opined that Ezeife's visit to Shettima negates the Igbo people's clamour for a president from the southeast region in 2023
- According to the elders, they are yet to ascertain if the visit and division among leaders of the Igbo Elders Consultative Forum is sponsored by the ruling party
A recent visit to Kashim Shettima, the vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress by a former governor of Anambra state, Chukwuemeka Ezeife has caused a divide among Igbo leaders.
The Punch reports that members of the Igbo Elders Consultative Forum which Ezeife chairs seem not to be in support of his visit to Shettima two weeks ago.
It was gathered that sources within the group said that Ezeife's visit appears to be contrary to their campaign for total support for the Igbo presidency in 2023.
This is as members of the IECF had been throwing support for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, who had served as a former governor of Anambra state.
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Also, the division among the Igbo elders has reportedly led to the cancellation of two press conferences scheduled to have taken place by 1 pm on Tuesday, June 14 and June 24, at the Abuja residence of Ezeife.
While no explanations were given for the cancellation, the IECF as an organisation has continued to keep mum amid several speculations that key politicians may have infiltrated its members.
One of the members of the IECF who confirmed the division among the elders said they were still not sure if it was been sponsored by the ruling APC.
“I’m not sure I know what is going on among Igbo Elders. The only thing is that after those two aborted press conferences and even meetings, we decided to concentrate elsewhere and watch. There are people who came to hijack the place for the purpose of making money.
“We don’t know whether they’re being sponsored by the APC. We think he (Ezeife) was told that it wasn’t good. At that time, Igbo Elders were very vocal and they tried to divide us. We didn’t allow that to bother us because we know where we were going and doing underground work."
He however added that it appears members are beginning to come back to their senses to realise that the APC had failed the people.
He also accused the ruling party of making moves to neutralise the Igbo elders which he said has also been futile.
Peter Obi Support group reacts to alleged division among southeast elders
However, in his reaction, the spokesperson for the Peter Obi Support Network, Onwuasoanya Jones, boasted that Obi’s movement was a national agenda.
"Obi’s presidential project is not an Igbo agenda. His is a Nigerian project and we accede to the rights of every Nigerian to decide whom to support and whom to vote for.
"We believe that if competence, character and credibility are the deciding factors, Obi towers well above every other candidate in this race.
“Ezeife is an elder statesman and former governor. We cannot decide for him whom to visit or not. It is absolutely within his right to visit Shettima or any other person for that matter.”
NNPP's number 1 man reveals Kwankwaso's unflinching commitment to Ndigbo as 2023 presidential poll draws near
Boniface Aniebonam, the founding father of the New Nigerian Peoples Party had earlier described Rabiu Kwankwaso as someone with an unflinching love for Ndigbo.
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Aniebonam made this declaration on Tuesday, August 23, at stakeholders in the maritime meeting organised by Prime Maritime Project (PMP) in Lagos.
According to Aniebonam, support for Kwankwaso's presidency would culminate in the protection of businesses owned by the Igbo people.
Finally, top NNPP member leaks document showing why Kwankwaso did not attend 2022 NBA conference
The 2023 presidential candidate for the New Nigerian Peoples Party's absence at the Nigerian Bar Association conference was earlier revealed by Abdulmumin Jibrin.
Rabiu Kwankwaso, in response to an invitation by the NBA said he had other national commitments to attend to.
The NNPP's flag bearer noted that he would have sent his running mate but he (Bishop Isaac Idahosa) was out of the country.