2023: Ohanaeze Ndigbo scolds Dokpesi over Southern candidate comment

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A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Raymond Dokpesi has incurred the wrath of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo over his comment that no Southern candidate can clinch the 2023 presidency on the platform of the party.

Spokesman of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Alex Ogbonnia quoted Dokpesi as saying: “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.

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“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”.

Dokpesi, who had said no South-Easterner can win the election for his party, added that he was canvassing for the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for President in 2023 because they had been childhood friends.

However, Ogbonnia said, the group would have dismissed Dokpesi’s assertions “as a mundane distraction but coming from a man who is held in a high esteem at various quarters, it becomes very imperative to save the gullible public from the Dokpesi shibboleth”.

The group said it was not surprising that Dokpesi supports a northerner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, 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 condemned the “duplicity” of Dokpesi who supports the north yet canvass for Tinubu because they are childhood friends.

“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,” Ogbonnia’s statement read in part.

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