The apex socio-political body of Igbo, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said it has no regrets for refusing to support President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 presidential election.
The group backed the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the poll, Atiku Abubakar.
However, Buhari of the All Progressives Congress eventually won the election.
Some political leaders in the South-East, including the Director-General of Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, and APC’s National Auditor, George Muoghalu, criticised Ohanaeze for its decision to back Abubakar against Buhari.
But speaking with Saturday PUNCH on Friday, Ohanaeze said it would support Abubakar should the election be repeated.
National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, who spoke with our correspondent, insisted that they decided to endorse Abubakar because the former Vice-President expressed his commitment to restructuring the country.
He said, “Ohanaeze Ndigbo has no regrets about endorsing Atiku Abubakar of the PDP; we have no regrets about not supporting President Muhammadu Buhari. What happened was that the National Executive Committee of Ohanaeze decided to support the candidate that was interested in restructuring Nigeria, which has been our position.
“We did not support Abubakar because he was a member of the PDP – we endorsed him because he wanted to restructure the country.
“We are even saying that if you give us another opportunity to take a decision on who to endorse, we will still go for Abubakar because he identified with our interests.
“Ohanaeze has no regrets about not backing Buhari in the election. Despite the outcome of the exercise, we have no regrets at all.”
Achi-Okpaga said Ohanaeze was not expecting anything from Buhari.
Ohanaeze had accused Buhari of being unfair to Igbo, particularly in his appointments and major decisions, since he came to power in 2015.
But Achi-Okpaga said the body did not expect the President to treat Igbo better during his second term.
The spokesman said, “We are not making any demands, there is no need. A leopard cannot change its spots except there is a miracle.
“What he cannot do during his first term, you cannot expect him to do that in the second term. His actions, statements and body language show that he does not mean well for Ndigbo. So, we are not expecting anything from him.”