The Igbo Elders Consultative Forum is reportedly divided over the visit of a former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, to the All Progressives Congress vice-presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima.
The IECF had issued an official statement claiming Ezeife’s visit to Shettima was a courtesy visit, but sources said it had thrown the group into controversies.
According to PUNCH, members who had been championing for Igbo presidency and supporting the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, remained divided.
The division is also said to have been fuelled by the cancellation of two press conferences scheduled for 1 pm on Tuesday, June 14 and Friday, June 24 2022, at Ezeife‘s Asokoro residence, Abuja, at the last minute, without any given explanation.
The publication above reported that a dazed IECF member, who does not want to be mentioned, confirmed the division but was unsure if the APC allegedly sponsored it.
He said, “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.
“But I think we have come back to our senses, we have come back from our madness. Those people actually failed, they collapsed. The APC wanted to neutralise us, but that one is now over.”
The Spokesperson of Peter Obi Support Network, Onwuasoanya Jones, when contacted said Obi’s movement was a national agenda and Ezeife, an elder statesman can visit whoever he wishes to visit.
Onwuasoanya said, “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.”