A cacophony of voices have continued to greet the reported emergence of former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Prof George Obiozor as consensus candidate for Ohanaeze President General.
Other aspirants to the position, yesterday, continued to kick against his adoption by Imo State stakeholders at the Government House, Owerri.
One of the contenders, a former Imo State Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chidi Osuagwu, told the media in Owerri, that in the constitution of Ohanaeze, there is nothing like Imo State Government and that the endorsement of Obiozor was not in line with the constitution of Ohanaeze.
He added that the position was zoned to Imo people and not to a group of people. Similarly, Orlu Political Action Committee, OPAC, led by Collins Opuruzo, vowed that it would resist the emergence of Obiozor as the president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Said Osuagwu: “Ohanaeze has a constitution it follows. Some people coming together to adopt a particular person does not make it a final decision of Ohanaeze.
They have chosen their preferred candidate but Ohanaeze has a constitution. Imo State Government is not in the constitution of Ohanaeze. The position is zoned to Imo people and not to a particular group of people.”
Obiozor’s endorsement won’t stand – OPAC
On its part, the Orlu Political Action Committee said: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo is run on the basis of law, not lawlessness. And the constitution of the apex Igbo body is clear on the modalities for electing a new president.
The purported endorsement of one man over the others by a so-called Imo stakeholders does not stand. Of a truth, we are embarrassed that Imo State keeps exporting negative examples to the world “But beyond the infractions which have been caused by the jaundiced endorsement, we are provoked by the attempt to bring in an Orlu man as the president-general of Ohanaeze.
Since 1999, our people in Orlu have dominated the politics of Imo State. Everything is about Orlu.
Three governors in quick succession have come from Orlu. This is an aberration! And the man who has been purportedly endorsed for Ohanaeze Ndigbo president-general is from Orlu zone.
What moral authority do the Igbo have to complain about marginalization in Nigeria if Orlu people have perpetrated the worst form of marginalization against the other parts of Imo State? “As conscientious leaders from Orlu, our insistence is that all Orlu sons are morally unfit to aspire for the president-general of Ohanaeze.
We must begin to practise what we preach. Let the other zones in Imo State give us their best for scrutiny.”
We’re not yet supporting anyone – MASSOB
In a related development, the leadership of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, said that it has not yet decided on who to support as the next president-general of Ohanaeze.
MASSOB leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu, said the group is still studying all the interested aspirants as well as doing consultations. However, Madu explained that what his group wants is an intelligent, eloquent, forthright and credible person that will represent Ndigbo well. Such person, he said will always stand for the very best interest of Ndigbo.
He commended the current President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, saying he tried very well for Ndigbo.
Nwodo reiterates his position
While the agitation against the emergence of Obiozor rages, the President-General of the apex group, Chief Nnia Nwodo has reiterated his position that he has no hand in choosing his successor.
Nwodo re-emphasized that the position of president-general is rotational and that it is the turn of Imo State and the responsibility of Imo State to choose their candidates.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Emeka Attamah, the Ohanaeze leader explained that his duty is to ensure free and credible election for the leaders that will give Ndigbo direction.
The statement read: “The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to a spurious, mendacious and malicious news item making the rounds that a candidate has been chosen to occupy the post of the President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, which by rotation, is now the turn of Imo State.
“The said vexatious piece would have been ignored for the chaff it is but for the fact that it impinges on the solid and time-tested tradition of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in choosing its leadership and the integrity of its present President-General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo.
“The truth of the matter is that posts in Ohanaeze Ndigbo are rotational and positions zoned to states. It is the responsibility of states to choose their candidates which they may prune down for their convenience.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo has the responsibility of organizing election for all those who indicate interest and buy forms for the election. It is therefore, preposterous and the height of mischief for anybody to write or in any way infer that Chief Nwodo went for an Imo State stakeholders meeting in Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu’s office.
“Chief Nwodo couldn’t have been at a meeting of Imo State Leaders Thought for the purpose of choosing a candidate for President General when he wasn’t invited and Ohanaeze didn’t organize it.
Moreover, the decision at the meeting will not stop Ohanaeze from conducting the forth-coming election.”