The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has urged former President, Goodluck Jonathan, not to succumb to the “gimmicks of the enemy” aimed at pitching the Ijaw against the Igbo.
This is even as the group noted that there is no going back on its calls for zoning the presidency to the South-East region.
The group, in a statement by its Secretary-General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, was reacting to a report that a coalition of northern socio-cultural groups purchased the All Progressives Congress (APC) N100million Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for the former President to contest for the 2023 presidency.
Ohanaeze said it was aware of frantic endeavours and backstage activities to resuscitate age-long enmity between the two ethnic groups which was demolished in 2011 when Igbos adopted Jonathan.
The Igbo group advised the former President to support Presidential candidates of Igbo extraction from the seven Igbo speaking states including Anioma (in Delta) or Ikwerre ( in Rivers), stating that it was time for Jonathan to pay back.
The statement reads, “Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide has reinstated that there is no going back on 2023 Nigerian President of Igbo stock and anything contrary to it amounts to a denial of equity, fairness, and Justice.
“We will not react to speculations about Jonathan's ambitions until he official declares to run for 2023 Presidency, as there are frantic endeavors and backstage activities to pitch Ijaws against Ndigbo, a repeat of 1966 enemy's gimmicks aimed at the resuscitation of the aged longed enmity between the two ethnic groups of old Eastern region, which was demolished in 2011 when Igbos adopted Jonathan as our own.
“We expect Goodluck Jonathan as elder statesman and African iconic personality to endorse an Igbo Presidency from the seven Igbo speaking states including Anioma (in Delta) or Ikwerre (In Rivers) States, which he has conceded to in the past that Southeast and Igbos were his citadels of support in 2011 and 2015
“We became marginalised and were regarded as 5% because of Igbos support for Jonathan in 2015, we will never forget but this should be a payback time for the sacrifices we paid for the Ijaws and Jonathan in particular.
“Endeavors to sow seeds of disunity and discord among the ethnic groups of the old Eastern region are dead on arrival.
“There is no compromise on the Igbo Project, no individual's ambition is more important than the collective interests of the Igbo, we await for further moves of the backstage power mongers who are enthusiastic about the division of Igbos and Ijaws of the old Eastern region for the gain of the North.”