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Ohanaeze may break up over national election, says ex-scribe

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Immediate past Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Uche Okwukwu, has faulted the inauguration of a new electoral committee for next month’s election, saying the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation is heading for the rocks.

He told journalists in Enugu yesterday that with the crisis rocking the body over the January 11, 2021 national election, the clamour by the South East to produce the president in 2023 was at risk.

At an emergency meeting in Enugu on Sunday by Ime-Obi Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the contention over the 40-man electoral committee was resolved, following the abdication of the chairman, Chief Ben Obi.

Obi’s nomination was opposed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who linked him with partisan politics.

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His resignation paved the way for the nomination of former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey, to head the 40-man committee that will conduct the election.

Okwukwu faulted the process that threw up Enwo-Igariwey, insisting that any action taken by his committee would amount to futility.

He said “The purported Ime-Obi where they set up the electoral committee is null and void because only the secretary-general has the power to do so by the Ohanaeze Constitution.

“An illegal meeting was held and they set up an electoral committee, which, in my humble view, is illegal. You can’t place something on nothing. In Imo State, they even set up a selection committee, which nominated Obiozor; they have even warned everyone not to run, except Obiozor, else the person will be ostracised. This is unacceptable.”

Also faulting the timing of the election, he noted: “The tenure of this executive will end on January 10, 2021. Technically speaking, we have about 20 days to the end of tenure. This electoral committee would have been set up about three months ago, to go ahead and draw guidelines, screen candidates, because of the issue of certificates in the country.

“The one that is quite frightening is that the candidates are going to campaign.”

But who are the delegates? Even the independent National electoral commission (INEC) publishes the list of voters. But in this case, there is no list. Who are you going to talk to now? There is fear, plans to manipulate the election.”

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