OHANAEZE NDIGBO ELECTION:
IMO LEADERS DUMP OBIOZOR, SETTLE FOR OSUAGWU
By Ikenna Emejuru, Owerri
As the election of a new President for Ohanaeze Ndigbo inches closer, the Coalition of Imo Groups and Stakeholders has thrown its weight behind Prof. Chidi Osuagwu. This is coming almost after one month that the Iwuanyanwu-led Imo elders council endorsed Amb. George Obiozor for the same office. The coalition which is made up of representatives of all the sociocultural organizations, interest groups, professional associations and youth movements gave its endorsement on Saturday after a meeting in Owerri.
Recall that the election of new officers to administer the affairs of Ohanaeze is billed for early January, and the position of President-General has been zoned to Imo State in accordance with the laws of the apex Igbo group.
In a communiqué issued on Saturday which was signed by the leaders of seven various Imo groups and read by the convener, Dr. Nnachi Ikeogu, the Imo stakeholders disclosed that in the last three months, they have closely followed the unfolding developments concerning the Ohanaeze Ndigbo election.
His words: “Being aware that the position of President-General of Ohanaeze has been officially pronounced Imo’s turn in line with the Constitution of Ohanaeze, we have ever since been studying the various individuals from our State who have shown interest in the coveted seat. And as the coalition of all the sociocultural organizations, interest groups, youth movements and professional associations in Imo State, the pronouncement we are making today reflects the popular views of Imo people.
“Also, we have thoroughly studied the manifestoes of all the aspirants for the office of President-General of Ohanaeze. Further, we have observed the trajectories they are charting for the Igbo Nation, and we are deeply elated about that. Second, we also watched the virtual debate organized for the purpose of this election by Njenje Media Organization, and we participated in the followup discussions with the aspirants the which the selfsame media organization also enabled. Essentially, we have painstakingly done a deep, spirited and dispassionate appraisal of the leadership history, pedigree, integrity quotient, intellectual prowess and Igbo patriotism and commitment of each of the aspirants.
“Given that this time is very critical to the survival of Ndigbo, and this election holds enormous promises for our people everywhere in the world, we hereby resolve as follows:
“That Prof. Chidi Osuagwu is the candidate preferred for the office of President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo by the majority of Imo people given his track record of integrity, visionary leadership, commitment to the Igbo cause and sound intellect. The debate and presentation of manifestoes by aspirants further unveiled Prof. Osuagwu as the most prepared candidate to deliver on the overriding expectations of Ndigbo at the crucial moment in our history. We therefore give him our unalloyed endorsement pledge the fold up our sleeves and move all out to work and ensure that he wins, so that the soul of Ndigbo, which is Ohanaeze, is never allowed to see corruption.
“We call for a free, fair and credible election in Ohanaeze Ndigbo which must be devoid of partisan compromises. The attempt by few individuals to stampede the electoral process and foist an unpopular candidate on Ndigbo is a taboo, an aberration of indescribable proportion given the democratic and republican credentials of the Igbo Nation, and such attempts will be vehemently resisted. We therefore sternly warn those hatching such anti-Igbo schemes to immediately back down.
“We enjoin all Igbo patriots, stakeholders and groups both in Nigeria and the Diaspora to kindly lend their support to the candidacy of Prof. Chidi Osuagwu who reflects the collective decision of Imo people and the beacon of hope for a greater Igbo Nation.
“Finally, we urge Ndigbo to keep faith with Ohanaeze, for with Prof. Osuagwu in the administrative cockpit of the apex Igbo body, our people everywhere in Nigeria will regain their pride of place, even as the greatness of Ndigbo will resonate again,” the communiqué assured.