By Fred Ojeh
Igbo group in the diaspora, the Igbo World Assembly (IWA), at the weekend stated that any potential candidate for the next president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo must be ready to confront security challenges in Igbo land.
The group in a virtual world press conference jointly addressed by its Chairman, Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze; Vice Chairman, Christian Onuorah, and Secretary-General, Oliver Nwankwor, at the weekend, appealed to the Igbo people to elect a credible leader that would protect the Igbo people and project their agenda.
IWA, therefore, appealed to have the timetable for the election beforehand, adding that Imeobi meeting should be summoned for direction regarding the election, adding that: “This will enable the Diasporas to plan the attendance to the election.
To be globally competitive, IWA stated that the new Ohanaeze president-general should establish strong working relationship with Ndigbo in the diaspora through the already established ‘Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Diaspora’.
The group further advised that Ohanaeze’s constitutional stipulation for the election process should be followed and fully complied with.
It listed the conditions for the potential president of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation to include: “Experience of good working relationship with other regional powers, relationship with other major Igbo groups, ability to unite or bring to the table all the important Igbo groups and our neighboring brothers and sister states, ability to assemble the business community within and outside Igbo land and for the development of Igbo land; ability to reach out to women and youths, ability to establish financial independence for Ohanaeze Ndigbo, among others.
“It is now the turn of Imo State to present to Imeobi Ohanaeze and the National Executive Council the potential candidates which are limitless.
“As we all know, Imo State has an extensive wealth of potential candidates. While the candidates are yet to declare themselves, we are hoping in the weeks ahead for a credible person that appreciates the enormous weight the position of president-general of Ohaneze Ndigbo carries for Ndigbo.”
While Ndigbo are at a critical crossroad now, the next Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership, according to IWA, must be free from partisan politics. “No political sponsorship should be allowed in choosing our Ohanaeze leader,” IWA warned.
Insisting that the next president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo must make true consolidation of the governance of all the Igbo speaking states under Ohanaeze Ndigbo an agenda item for his executive council, the diaspora group added that the aspirant should be presented to Ndigbo by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo of Imo State.
“The position is not an individual position. Ndigbo want Ndi-Imo to come together and present their best candidates for the president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,” IWA explained.
It noted that the leader, coming from the rank and file of Ohanaeze Ndigbo institution would promote continuity and stability of the organisation, adding that the next candidate should have served at various capacities and grassroots levels so as to understand the workings of Ohanaeze Ndigbo structure.