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‘Owerri not ideal for Ohanaeze election’

By Lawrence Njoku, Enugu
31 December 2020   |   4:02 am
After settling the rift the list of electoral committee members for the January poll, Ohanaeze Ndigbo is in fresh crisis. This time, it is about the venue of the election.

After settling the rift the list of electoral committee members for the January poll, Ohanaeze Ndigbo is in fresh crisis. This time, it is about the venue of the election.

A coalition of Igbo groups rose from a virtual meeting yesterday to oppose Owerri, Imo State, as venue of the election, alleging that it would undermine the credibility of the process if allowed.

The emergency Ime-Obi meeting called by the President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, in Enugu on December 20, 2020 had ratified the electoral committee members, after Chief Ben Obi, who was earlier put up to head the committee, was forced to resign by he Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Chris Ngige. Obi’s position was taken by former Ohanaeze PG, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey.

The Ime-Obi had also approved Owerri to host the election.

Among the contestants to the PG seat are Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, Prof. George Obiozor, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike, Dr. Chris Asoluka and Prof. Chidi Osuagwu.

Nwodo, who addressed reporters after the meeting, had pointed at security challenges and Governor Hope Uzodimma’s willingness, among other factors, for the choice of Owerri, over Ohanaeze national secretariat in Enugu, as venue for the election.

But the coalition, Global Igbo Leadership (GIL), asked leaders of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation to rescind the decision in the interest of Ala-Igbo.

The affiliate groups insisted that holding the election in Owerri might not guarantee fairness and equity, with what had already been known, especially the alleged interest of the Imo governor in one of the PG hopefuls.

In a statement, yesterday, in Enugu, signed by Chief Christian Onuorah, Chief Oliver Nwankwor, Chief Austin Okeke and Chief Alex Ezeamakam, GIL insisted that the election should be conducted in line with the constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, adding that it had never held in a state whose citizen was contesting.

“In conducting the January election, the independence of Ohanaeze Ndigbo must be respected and upheld. There should be no political interference from any quarter.

“We reject Owerri, the proposed venue for the election, because the state producing the PG candidate does not host the election.”