Mixed reactions trail Iwuanyanwu’s nomination as Ohanaeze Ndigbo PG
By Tony Okafor, Awka
Mixed reactions have trailed the nomination of Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu as the President General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Iwuanyanwu was nominated recently to fill the vacancy created by the demise of the erstwhile President General of the apex pan Igbo organisation, Prof George Obiozor.
Obiozor died last year and as the position is zoned to Imo State, the state was requested to nominate a replacement for the departed leader of the organisation.
Iwuanyanwu’s name, according to a statement by Dr Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, was submitted to Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, by the Imo Council of Elders led by Eze Cletus Ilomuanya.
Ogbonnia, in his statement, quoted a press release by Mr Oguwike Nwachuku, the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor of Imo State which said that the Imo Council of Elders, in presenting Chief Iwuanyanwu’s name to Uzodimma, said that the highly decorated political and business leader was “the consensus candidate of the Council for the post of the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide..
Reacting to the development on Thursday, a former Anambra State lawmaker and an Ohanaeze enthusiast, Tony-Uche Ezechukwu, condemned the nomination of the elder statesman (Iwuanyanwu) as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Ezechukwu described Iwuanyanwu’s nomination as an abuse of the Ohanaeze constitution, stating that the move should be rejected by all and sundry, adding further that it was a destructive adventure.
He said, “This is an act of impunity and abuse of Ohanaeze Constitution and serious slap on the sensitivity of Igbos. What kind of rubbishy dangerous game is Hope Uzodinma/APC and Chief Iwuanyanwu playing with Ohanaeze Ndigbo?
“This destructive move must be resisted by all well meaning Igbos; this was how they dragged the sick Old good man, Prof Obiozor to ignominy and early grave.
” Our elder stakeholders should call them to order. Our elder statesman, Chief Iwuanyanwu should please respect his person and office as the Chairman of Ohanaeze Elders Council and stop playing to gallery for partisan pecuniary interests. This is arrant nonsense.”
But in his reaction , the Vice President General and acting President General of the Igbo apex cultural organisation, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene said it was the prerogative right of Imo State to nominate the replacement of the late Prof George Obiozor as the presidential general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, subject to the ratification by the Imobi( Ohanaezein caucus)
He said there was nothing wrong in Imo doing so, stating that it was within the constitutional provisions of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
He said, “It is the prerogative right of Imo Stare to nominate the replacement because it’s a tenured position and we are sharing it four years per tenure amongst the seven Igbo speaking states of Abia, Anambra, Delta,Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and River.
“So, Imo still have about two years to be in that office. So, there is nothing wrong in Imo deciding to fill the vacant positive. It’s within the constitutional provisions of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Every state has to complete their four years. The Ohanaeze elective positions at the national level don’t belong to individuals; they belong to states.”