Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State chapter of the Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC) has accused Igbo political appointees under the present government in the state of undermining the Igbo group.
The leadership of the youth body noted that those who were picked by the government to represent their interests had turned against them.
The group, however, called on Governor Seriake Dickson to call his appointees to order.
President of OYC , Bayelsa , Chief Chimedu Arthur-Ugwa, who spoke in Yenagoa, noted that Chief Okwudili Okoh and Hon. Chukwu Eze, both Special Assistants to Dickson on Non-Indigenes Affairs were causing division instead of uniting the Igbo people in the state.
He added that rather than act as a go-between between the government and Igbo people in the state, the SAs had formed the habit of selecting suspended members of the OYC to attend their meetings.
Arthur-Ugwa faulted a newspaper publication in which Okoh described him as â€œself-acclaimedâ€ and displayed pictures of Okoh handing over to him as the authentic OYC youth President in the state.
â€œWe do not want to join issues with them, but the man in question handed over to me as Ohaneze youth leader and later described me as self-acclaimed.
â€œHe is carrying the suspended members to Government House, bypassing the leadership. How can he even say Ohanaeze Ndigbo national has been scrapped? He doesnâ€™t have the power to delve into national issuesâ€, the OYC leader said.
He urged the SAs to retrace their steps , arguing that working against the same body through which they were given positions would not augur well for the Igbo people.
â€œLet them retrace their steps and come back home and stop undermining our constitution. Ours is to guide them as our representatives in government, now they are forming another group. Ohanaeze remains the supreme body over both born and unborn Igbo persons all over the world.
â€œThey should ordinarily be working for us. They have climbed the Ohanaeze ladder to government house , now they want to break the ladder. That is badâ€, he maintained.
He noted that a petition written to police authorities in the state of plans by the political appointees to cause rancour was being treated seriously by the security agency.
â€œWe wrote a petition to the police asking them to stop using suspended members when they have meetings in government House. We asked that they should be called to order. We are not fighting them.
â€œWe told the police that we will embark on a protest if the SAs do not stop undermining the Ohanaeze. Our intention is not to destroy them, but let them work with the authentic youth groups. They are creating problems for themselves. They want to kill Ohanaeze because of their selfish interestâ€, he insisted.
He called on the governor who he said may not be aware of what is going on, to look into the issue and stop the disparaging of Ohaneze in Bayelsa.
â€œBefore these people cause a breakdown of law and order, which we donâ€™t want, let the governor wade in. The power of the SA does not supersede that of Ohanaeze Ndigboâ€, Arthur-Ugwa said.
Okoh had in an earlier interview said that Ohaneze youth wing national had been scrapped and had ceased to exist.
â€œHow can a branch claim leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo, if the national leadership does not exist, how can local leadership exist? â€œ, he had queried.
Also, Chief Eze had described allegations of pursuing narrow interest as â€œunfoundedâ€.