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Ohanaeze elects leaders today

By Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) and Nnamdi Akpa, (Abakaliki)   |   10 January 2017   |   4:20 am

Ohanaeze

Ohanaeze

The alleged interest of politicians in the national election into the leadership of apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo may mar today’s election, even as former Minister of Information, Chief John Nnia Nwodo looks set to clinch the position of President General of the group.

The Guardian gathered that the push to have ‘anointed’ candidates of the politicians occupy certain positions, allocated in line with the rotational principle in the union was currently unsettling it, despite the efforts of the Prof. Anya 0. Anya led electoral committee to provide a level plying ground for all aspirants.

Sources said the politicians had given supporting the ‘anointed’ candidates as a condition for their continued support to the socio-cultural organization, a development that was reportedly accepted by the Ohanaeze leadership.

The scenario was said to have played out during the Ohanaeze elections on Saturday where ‘anointed’ candidates emerged unchallenged in almost the entire five states of the south-east, Delta and Rivers states.

This development made some aspirants who had earlier indicated interest in certain positions to develop cold feet and did not appear for the screening held yesterday at the secretariat of the body in Enugu.

One of the contestants for the post of the President general and one time Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Allison Madueke (rtd), was conspicuously absent during the screening, an indication that he may have yielded to the pressure by some political stakeholders in Enugu State, who reportedly persuaded him to accept the choice of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

Ugwuanyi, had last week endorsed Nwodo for the plump position, stressing that it was in line with the decision of the stakeholders. Nwodo, who was the first to be screened yesterday may emerge as the next President General as his candidature was said to have received further boost from the Enugu State Ohanaeze and Ebonyi council of traditional rulers.

But pioneer Vice Chancellor of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Prof. Chiweyite Ejike and Chief Joel Ezeugwu appeared for screening yesterday, insisting that it was the right of Ndigbo to “elect those who would lead them and not that of any elected office holder.

Ejike, who is also a member of the Prof Ben Nwabueze led Igbo leaders of thought is said to be more rooted in Ohanaeze Ndigbo, but may not be in the good books of the ‘powers that be.’

Ejike, who spoke to The Guardian moments after being screened by the committee, said he did not object to any governor supporting any aspirant, but added however, that “what is important is whether the person will do the bidding of Ndigbo or the bidding of one man.

The governors are part of Ohanaeze and their views should be respected, but we are thinking about Ohanaeze Ndigbo that should be excised from political control to enable it serve the interest of the generality of our people.’’

Some of those who had indicated interest on the position including the former Deputy Governor, Prof Chigozie Ogbu could not further their aspirations following the endorsement of the aspirants. The aspirant was screened yesterday and is running unchallenged.

Immediate past President of Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, who is running for the position of Deputy President General allocated to Imo State, stated however, that the committee had tried to be transparent.

He said moments after his screening that though he had an opponent, “I don’t think he is a candidate of the Imo state government. I think the delegates will look at our capabilities and know whether we can do the job. I have led the Aka Ikenga and I think that is the basics for my election”.

A Chieftain from Anambra state, Chief Josiah Nze said he was at a loss over some developments in the election, asking the outgoing executive to insist on the rules and regulations guiding the Ohanaeze so as to maintain integrity in the body.


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Ohanaeze Ndigbo


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