The highest Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, needs an energy leader to drive it forward, an aspirant for President-General, Dr Chris Asoluka, has said.
“We need a visionary and energetic leadership with the capacity to actively mobilise Ndigbo worldwide and their friends for the development of Alaigbo,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Asoluka believes that Ohanaeze should drive restructuring, regional development, gender inclusion and work for the wellbeing of Ndigbo everywhere.
He is also keen about the organisation engaging and empowering youths, and ensuring that the next President is of Igbo extraction.
The next Ohanaeze President-General will come from Imo State, where it has been zoned to.
Imo elders and Governor Hope Uzodimma have endorsed a former Ambassador to the United States, Prof George Obiozor, for the job.
But Asoluka said the imposition of candidates was not only undemocratic but a violation of the organisation’s constitution.
He said: “Article 11(b) of the constitution of Ohaneze Ndigbo stipulates that the President-General shall be elected by the National General Assembly from all interested candidates from the state whose turn it is to fill the office provided there are at least three candidates.
“It is premature for anyone to speak on who are candidates for an election whose guidelines have yet to be unveiled.
“Until the close of return of forms whenever it opens and closes, no one can be said to be running as a candidate.
“It is only after the screening committee of aspirants by the elections committee that candidates can emerge.”
Asoluka commended the outgoing administration of John Nnia-Nwodo, saying that it catapulted Ohaneze Ndigbo to global prominence with landmark achievements.
“Our great accomplishments all over the world bear eloquent testimony to what we, Ndigbo, can achieve working together as a group,” he said.
Asoluka is a political scientist, consultant and administrator.
He studied at the University of Ibadan, the University of Lagos and the University of London.
He has degrees in political science and law and worked at the Nigerian Ports Authority, News Agency of Nigeria and Nigerian Customs Service before going into consulting.
He was president of the Igbo Professionals Group, Aka-Ikenga, former vice president of Ohanaeze Imo, and is co-chair of the South-East South-South Professionals (SESSP).
He served in the 2012 and 2016 Ohaneze electoral committees.