The umbrella organization for all Igbo, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday said that Ndigbo will not leave Nigeria for anybody as they are part owners of Nigeria whose forebears got independence for Nigeria.
This came as a chieftain of the organization, Prince Richard Ozobu, who has accused the President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, of contravening the constitution of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
However, speaking through its National Deputy Publicity Secretary, Mazi Chuks Ibegbu, Ohanaeze said there is no reason why the Igbo would leave Nigeria.
“How and why should we leave Nigeria and for who? For settlers or foreigners? No way. We partly own Nigeria and instead of leaving it, settlers and foreigners will leave it for us,” Ibegbu noted.
Ohanaeze also urged the pro-Biafra agitators to fight for social, economic, and structural justice for Ndigbo and not for Igbo to leave Nigeria for anybody, adding that the Igbo want a level playing ground for all Nigerians.
The apex group also called for the probe of the registration of the fake Ohanaeze Ndigbo by the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC.
Tagging the culprits as coupists, the apex group asked them to apologize to Ndigbo or the gods and Ndi-Ichie of Igbo land will deal with them traditionally.
Ohanaeze also asked pro-Biafran agitators to ask Igbo political office holders what they have been doing with the little funds that percolated into Igbo land before holding outsiders solely responsible for Igbo woes.
“Yes, the past and even present governments in Nigeria have not been fair to us but what of our own politicians? During Jonathan’s period, did we not have many of our people in high offices but what did they do for us?
“Let us not appear as secessionists when in fact, we are nation builders and nationalists and those who now claim to be lovers of Nigeria are the real secessionists right from colonial times.”
The group further warned against any harm happening to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo.
Nwodo contravened constitution but we’ll ensure peace reigns – Ozobu
Ozobu, in an interview with Vanguard blamed the recent crisis in Ohanaeze Ndigbo on the President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, accusing him of taking decisions without following constitutional processes and running the group like his personal business.
He stated that Nwodo has severally contravened the constitution by neglecting some organs and playing politics with the organization.
Ozobu, however, warned that crisis in the organization must be resolved before the next elections in 2021, adding that he has spoken to some elders of the organization who will soon convene a meeting between the warring parties.
In his words; “The present administration of Chief Nnia Nwodo has severally contravened the Constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in many ways. This is the cause of the recent crisis in the organization. Ohanaeze Ndigbo is a socio-cultural organization; it is not a socio-political one. The constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo stipulates that it is a socio-cultural Ndigbo organization in the seven Igbo speaking states of Nigeria.
“Chief Nnia Nwodo has brought too much politics to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, even adopting presidential candidates without the input of other stakeholders of the organization, especially the governors.
“If there is a need for us to adopt candidates, then stakeholders must sit to discuss and agree on who is more likely to better the lots of Ndigbo. We can’t accept one or two persons sitting and deciding for the people as the Nwodo leadership has been doing. The Imeobi must meet. You can’t convene a kangaroo meeting and say Ohanaeze Ndigbo has met and adopted a presidential candidate. You must call the Imeobi; the members of Imeobi comprise six members from each of the seven Igbo speaking states, you have statutory members like governors, ex-senate presidents, ex-governors, and leadership of the council of Ndieze in each of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo states”.
Speaking further, Ozobu accused the PG of promoting the Imeobi as the highest decision making organ in Ohanaeze Ndigbo contrary to the Constitution and warned that decisions not taken at the General Assembly meeting of the group are null and void.
“After Imeobi meets, the constitution says that the proceedings of the Imeobi meeting will be taken to the General Assembly which is the highest decision making body of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. But Nwodo has continued to contravene this part of the Constitution. The decisions of the Imeobi are never announced. After Imeobi, you must arrange for a general Assembly of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. “The General Assembly comprises 50 members from each of the seven Igbo speaking states, the statutory members, and the Imeobi members. Decisions at the General Assembly are made through the majority vote. It must be in line with the republican nature of Ndigbo. The Imeobi has no decision making power in Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Any decision not taken at the General Assembly level is null and void.
”I have been speaking with elders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, we will soon call everybody together to resolve the issues affecting the organization. We will certainly bring everyone together. I don’t think the opposing group means any harm. Everybody must come together to make the organization speak in one accord. “We must arrest the drift now. Remember, Ohanaeze is in a transitional period, we are approaching the next election for new leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and it can’t do it in crisis.”
Another faction may emerge – Isiguzoro
Adding his voice to the development, former national president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro urged the governors of the seven Igbo speaking states to call the factions to sheathe their swords to ensure peace in the organization.
In an interview with Vanguard, Isiguzoro insisted that there are three factions of Ohanaeze Ndigbo: the Nwodo faction; the one led by the suspended Secretary-General, Uche Okwukwu and the group seeking registration from CAC.
He also predicted that a fourth faction may emerge from the pro-Biafra groups before the election of the end of the year.
Isiguzoro warned that the only solution is for Igbo governors, including Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to intervene to make peace and stop any of the three factions from setting up an electoral body for the forthcoming election.
“The seven Igbo governors must rise up to stop the factions in Ohanaeze Ndigbo before it is too late. Any faction of Ohanaeze Ndigbo that set up an electoral body for Ohanaeze Ndigbo election 2021, will definitely divide Ohanaeze Ndigbo beyond 2021, as the fourth faction being a pro-Biafra Ohanaeze Ndigbo might emerge by August.
“I predict that another round of fresh crisis will soon hit Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as the Southeast Governors are not interested in the Affairs of the organization.”
He accused the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, of failing in the promotion of Igbo culture and traditions, stressing that his leadership has been unable to organize the annual Igbo Day Celebrations, which holds every September 29.
Speaking further; he said; “Nwodo failed to learn from the mistakes of his successors who allegedly sold the organization to political parties and candidates, stressing that he had caused problems for successive administration in the organization.
“The outright endorsement of a political party and candidate in the presidential election is against the Constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.”