Confusion as parallel executives emerge in Ohanaeze Ndigbo
A PARALLEL executive has emerged for the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as elders’ council, leaders and patrons of Ohanaeze gathered yesterday in Enugu to inaugurate a 20-member caretaker committee to run the affairs of the organisation until a substantive election is conducted.
The caretaker committee, with Chief Ralph Obioha (Imo) as chairman, has three members from each of the five states of the South-East and two members each from Rivers and Delta states (Anioma). Dr. Zed Chukwujama from Anambra State is the Secretary of the committee, among other members. The committee was mandated to conduct fresh elections into the leadership of the organisation in the shortest possible time as well as look into the finances of the group.
Chairman of Ohanaeze Council of Elders and First Republic Minister of Transport, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, while inaugurating the caretaker committee, said it had become inevitable following the inability of the “immediate past executive led by Chief Enwo Igariwey to conduct fresh elections into Ohanaeze after the expiration of its two-year tenure on January 12, this year”, stressing that nature abhorred vacuum.
Amechi stated: “Their term of office expired on January 12, 2015 and right now, Ohanaeze has no elected leaders. Nature, they say, abhors vacuum and it is in order to make for continuity and interim that your committee is constituted. Article 11 of Ohanaeze constitution clearly states ‘There shall be a President-General of Ohanaeze elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years’. Chief Igariwey and Dr. Joe Nwaorgu who are co-captains of the ship that wish to wreck the great Igbo nation have been spreading the blatant falsehood that the constitution was amended to be for four years. Nobody amended the constitution of Ohanaeze on tenure.”
But in a swift reaction to the inauguration of the parallel executive yesterday, Ohanaeze Secretary-General, Dr. Joe Nworgu, said the Igariwey-led executive remains intact and will continue to speak for Ndigbo till 2017.
He said: “They are not part of Ohanaeze. Ohanaeze has a system and what they have done is unknown to Ohanaeze constitution. Our executive is totally intact because these people are not Ohanaeze council of elders. Our executive is legitimate till 2017. So, whatever anybody is doing is not in tandem with the good of Ndigbo.”
Amechi however stated further that apart from the expiration of office of the Igariwey-led executive, “they are manifestly anti-Igbo interest in their leadership of Ohanaeze and should have been impeached if their tenure was not coming to an end.”
“There have been instances and allegations of massive stealing, conversion and misappropriation of funds and property of Ohanaeze which the Igariwey clique is trying to sweep under the carpet. These include registration of Ohanaeze foundation with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), seizure of the certificate of incorporation and changing the foundation to private property, among others”, he said.
He said he had served as chairman of Ohanaeze elders’ council before the group started having elected officers, stressing that he had in that capacity resolved several conflicts in the organisation and accused the Igariwey-led executive of coming into office by defective policy of zoning and rotation.
Amechi, who charged the caretaker committee members to “look into these allegations more critically and objectively”, as well as run the affairs of the organisation in line with the constitution, warned them to seriously avoid anything that could bring the group into disrepute with politicians and political parties.