Ohanaeze Splits Into Factions. Obiozor Emerges In Owerri, Ibeh In Enugu - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Ohanaeze Splits Into Factions. Obiozor Emerges In Owerri, Ibeh In Enugu

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By Our Correspondent


After weeks of controversies, former Nigeria Ambassador to the United States, Professor George Obiozor, yesterday, emerged as the new President -General of Ohanaeze , succeeding John Nnia Nwodo.

Obiozor won the election conducted by the election committee led by Gary Enwo Igariwey, set up by Nwodo.

The election was held at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri.

After Goddy Uwazurike and Eze Chukwuyere Nwebo stepped down, Obiozor polled an unassailable 304 votes to beat two other contenders- Uju Okoro (three votes), and Valentine Oparaocha (15 votes)

For the position of the Deputy Vice President, Obi Nwali was returned unopposed while Okey Egbuche emerged as secretary-general just as Beatrice Eze emerged unopposed as treasurer.

Other executive members are Batholomew Okere (financial secretary), and Alex Ogbonna (national publicity secretary.

However, the Obiozor team has a parallel exco to contend with in the battle for the soul of the Igbo apex organisation.

On Saturday, a former commissioner in Imo State, Engr, Chidi Ibeh, MFR. was reportedly elected in Enugu as President-General in the election organised by the Prince Richard Ozobu-led election committee raised by the former embattled Secretary-General, Uche Okwukwu, who incidentally was elected deputy president general. Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro emerged as secretary general.

Ozobu reportedly told reporters that the election was held in Enugu in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

The Ohanaeze election in Owerri attracted a host of Igbo leaders.

Apart from Governor Hope Uzodimma, who is the host governor, also in attendance was Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, leading Igbo politicians as well as religious leaders. Among them were Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige; Nnia Nwodo; Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe; Emmanuel Iwuanyawu; Minister of state for Mines and Development, Uche Ogah; former Governor of Imo State, Dr. Ikedi Ohakim; Senator Osita Izunaso; former Deputy Governor of Anambra State,Emeka Sibeudu; Archbishop of Anglican Diocese of Enugu State, Chukwuma Okoh; Senator Andy Ubah; and former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro.

There were also former Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Sam Egwu; Senator Ben Obi; Chekwas Okorie, former Senate President, Chief Adolphus Wabara, elder statesmen, Professor Anya O Anya and Chief Guy Ikokwu. Uzodimma, Umahi, Nwodo, Igariwey speak

Welcoming the delegates, Governor Uzodimma said: “I am here to welcome the Igbo people who have come to elect new leadership of Igbo. I thank the governors of the Igboland. I am happy because I can see a new order.

“I am here because the Igbo have been challenged that they cannot work together and now we have to get it right. In all, I speak prophetically, that today is a day for the change. The only reason we have been behind is because the spirit of togetherness is lacking. We have to go back to our root and know what to do. In Imo state, we have done something that will provide a smooth transition.”

Adding his voice, Governor Umahi said: “Let me first thank God Almighty for today’s event. I also commend Igbo leaders for making this event happen today. I commend the outgoing President-General of Ohanaeze, Chief Nnia Nwodo.

“Whatever is the outcome of the election process the governors of the South-East will stand by it. I advice those who will emerge winners and losers that we are one. “Those who will emerge victorious, you have a very big task of educating our people especially working for the oneness and unity of Nigeria.

“My dear brother, Hope Uzodimma, the love I have for you is the level of love you have shown for Ndigbo. We, the governors of the South-East are one. We the South-East leaders will organize a get together for Nwodo, on what he has done for us the Igbo people to show appreciation.”

Nwodo said: “I thank you for the opportunity you gave us to serve. Lopsidedness in the appointments in this country have affected the development of the Igbo land, that is why we are championing the restructuring of Nigeria.

“We urge the new leadership to continue with the constitutional amendment of the Ohanaeze, and achieve the aim of improving the organisation.

“I want to say that discordant voices do not mean well for the Igbo. I appeal to our Igbo brothers to sheathe their swords and let us move ala Igbo forward.”

On his part, Igariewey, said: “This committee is to save the Igbo Nation and to show the outside world that we are capable of running a credible election.”