We now have two Ohanaezes, says Orji Kalu on endorsement of Atiku

Orji Kalu, former Abia governor, has criticised Ohanaeze Ndigbo for endorsing Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Kalu expressed disappointment with the group on Sunday while speaking with journalists at his country home in Igbere, Bende local government area of the state.

He said the John Nwodo-led executive of the organisation betrayed the people’s trust and exposed the body as being partisan.

“Ohanaeze is a socio-cultural organisation and so should not be seen to be partisan. What the leadership did by endorsing Atiku was not in the interest of the Igbo nation,” Kalu said.

“The endorsement also did not enjoy the support of the majority of members but may be a committee’s decision.”

Kalu described the endorsement as wrong and capable of decimating the organisation into two factions, if not rescinded.

He said: “I was very surprised that Nwodo, whom I have a lot of respect for, could do such a thing because that is not the right thing to do.

“What they just did implies that we have two Ohanaezes, or we are going to have another organisation in a different name.

“I will be in consultation with Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra and other people of goodwill to decide what we will do next, we are not going to accept it.

“These are card-carrying members of PDP, they cannot use Ohanaeze platform to endorse any candidate, it’s not acceptable to us.

“We want a level playing ground. I expected Ohanaeze to be neutral, whoever wins, they should support.

“I’m not even expecting them to endorse Buhari, we want them to be neutral because neutrality is the hallmark of every independent cultural association.”

The former governor dismissed the fear that the endorsement would sway the voting pattern in the south-east against President Muhammadu Buhari.