The Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, says it will not congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari's recent victory at the tribunal.
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mazi Chuks Ibegbu, told The Guardian on Sunday that despite the tribunal’s ruling in favour of Buhari, the group would not congratulate him.
Ibegbu said: “Ohanaeze took a position before the election and until we are aware that the person that benefitted from that position is not moving ahead with the matter, it will be premature to send any congratulatory message to Buhari.
“Again, the National Executive Committee and Imeobi have not met to discuss the tribunal’s ruling. Ohanaeze Ndigbo is not a political party and will not be pressured into acting like one.
"Our interest is on what can benefit our people and our people said they want to restructure. Atiku promised to restructure if elected. Buhari did not and that made us take the position.”
Continuing, he said, “Ndigbo do not hate President Buhari and we don’t also have anything against him. It is a matter of principle and there are Igbo people everywhere. All we are saying is that Nigeria should
be restructured to survive and anybody who is ready to do this will receive the support of Ndigbo.On the essence of restructuring, he stated that the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa could have been curtailed if the youths had jobs in the country.
“Those returning to the country with little or no means of livelihood could have stayed back in the first place. There won’t have been the need for them to leave the country in search of greener pastures. We should have created the institutions that could employ them through the efforts of their various regions. That is what we are saying. So it has nothing to do with Buhari. All we want is something that should prosper the country at all times.”