Ohanaeze blasts AIT owner, Dokpesi over ‘no southern candidate can win presidency comment’
Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, on Tuesday, lambasted the Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, for supporting a northern presidency in the 2023 elections.
The group, in a statement, said it was not surprising that Dokpesi supports a northerner to succeed Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), noting that northerners paid Dokpesi’s school fees and his allegiance is to the region, even though he is from Edo State, in the South-South.
Ohanaeze was reacting to a statement made by Dokpesi in Abuja on Saturday as part of activities marking his 70th birthday.
With some months to the 2023 elections, the clamour for a Southern President has risen, with Ohanaeze demanding on an Igbo President, saying nobody from the zone had ruled Nigeria since the return to democracy in 1999.
However, Dokpesi, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, had said his support for northern presidency was in line with the PDP agreement during the party’s convention in 2006.
“The South-East cannot win the election for the PDP. That is just the truth of the matter. I don’t beat around the bush; I treat issues as they are and as I understand them. There is no candidate from the South-East, even I dare say there is no candidate from the South that you put in the North today that will be able to win. It is going to be a humongous challenge,” he was quoted as saying last Saturday.
Ironically, while Dokpesi had said no South-Easterner can win the election for his party, he had added that he was canvassing for the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, for President in 2023 because they had been childhood friends.
Reacting in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, titled, ‘Dokpesi Oscillates’, Ohanaeze condemned the “duplicity” of Dokpesi who supports the north yet canvass for Tinubu because they are childhood friends.
According to the group, Nigeria might remain in crisis until the leaders embrace justice, equity and fairness as guiding philosophies.
Ogbonnia said, “I sympathise with our southern son, Chief Dokpesi because he started as the personal assistant to Alhaji Bamaga Tukur at the Nigerian Ports Authority. Dokpesi also served under Alhaji Umaru Dikko and General Garba Wushishi. Records reveal that Alh. Bamanga Tukur paid his fees from secondary school to postgraduate level. To that extent, he owes allegiance to his benefactors and feels no compunction to profile the entire south as electoral liability.
“One can easily understand the psychological ambivalence in the Dokpesi persona. On the other hand, there is no reason for the condescension and disdain he handed over to the entire South.”
“Dokpesi’s assumptions are unreflective, weird and unworthy. Any person who loves Nigeria should be an advocate of power rotation especially between the north and the south; and those our sons and daughters who lay claim to leadership should not, under any guise, give the impression that the south is a lame-duck, an electoral liability; and therefore must depend on the north to define the political trajectory of Nigeria,” the group added.
Ohanaeze urged Dokpesi to allow justice and fairness to guide his dealings and choices, even as the group reminded the business mogul to be mindful of the kind of epitaph that he wishes to be remembered for.
The group led by George Obiozor also commended the 17 Southern Governors for insisting that power should shift to the south in 2023.