Ohanaeze Crisis Deepens as Group Plans Fresh Election, Shortlists Three for President-General

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By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu

The crisis rocking the apex Igbor socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, deepened further at the weekend as its youth wing vowed to sack the President General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, for allegedly meddling with activities of the youths and women wings.

Accordingly, the group has shortlisted three persons including Prince Richard Ozobu, Chief OAU Onyema, a former Deputy President-General and Prof Eche Ugwu for where Nwodo’s replacement will be chosen by Wednesday this week.

The group also dismissed as false and “gross misinformation” the alleged disbanment of the Ohanaeze Youth Wing by the organisation’s Imeobi (Elders Council) in 2016.

In a statement made available to journalists yesterday and signed by  Okechukwu Isiguzoro, President, OYW,  Okwu Nnabuike, Secretary General, Ohanaeze Youth Wing and  Achuonye Obinna

Vice President, Ohanaeze Youth Wing, the the group said its leadership remained intact.

In a swift reaction however, the duo of Ozobu and Onyema denied knowledge of any meeting where they were shortlisted.

While Onyema said he was aware of the disagreements between the youth wing and parent body, Ozobu on his part said he had been away from the country and as such was yet to be briefed.

But, the statement by the youth group noted that the choice of the three Igbo leaders was the outcome of an interactive meeting of some Igbo leaders of thought, in Enugu under the banner of Save Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

“The Igbo leaders at the meeting unanimously agreed that Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been grossly misrepresented and turned into a political party and without equivocation accepted that it is imperative to re-strategise and reposition Ohanaeze Ndigbo, for the return of Igbo cultural nationalism championed by the likes of Pa. Nnamdi Azikiwes, M. I. Okparas, Eze Akanu Ibiams, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwus, and the likes of distinguished Ohanaeze Ndigbo leaders Justice Ozobus, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Chief Mbazuluike Amaechis, Dr. Dozie Ikedifes, Chief Ralph Obiohas.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Enugu parley, also bemoaned the present Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership saying that it was because of its political ineptitudes that the Igbo are currently missing in the political leadership and radar of Nigerian politics and thereby, agreed to not only sanitize but constitute a National Steering Committee, Ohanaeze Ndigbo to be constituted before the end of the week,” the statement noted.

The release further noted that selection of a new leader for the organisation would take place at the Government House, Owerri, Imo State on Wednesday and therefore urged the President General, Nwodo to honourably resign “for easy change of guards.”

The stakeholders meeting also reportedly passed a confidence vote on the leaderships of the youth and women wings.

When contacted, the President General, Nwodo who spoke through his Media Adviser, Chief Emeka Atamah, dismissed the purported plans to sack him as the “biggest joke of the year.”

He noted that the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo remains intact and would not be distracted by statements from a group that had long been disbanded.