africa

Plot to scuttle Ohanaeze election exposed


From Jude Chinedu, Enugu

There are indications that some self-acclaimed Igbo leaders are plotting to ensure the election of a new leadership for Ohanaeze Ndigbo slated for January 10, in Owerri, Imo State, does not hold.

An amorphous group, named Global Joint Igbo Leaders, in a statement said to have emerged from a Zoom meeting of some interest groups, was already seeking to upstage the scheduled January 10 election.

The group, Daily Sun gathered, is also seeking to create grounds to raise legitimacy questions when a new executive of Ohanaeze Ndigbo is empanelled.

The group, purportedly led by Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), with Uzodimma Nwala as president, listed other members of the group to include World Igbo Congress (WIC), Igbo World Assembly (IWA), Nzuko Umunna, Ndigbo Canada, Ekwe Nche USA, Igbo Board of Deputies UK, Council of Igbo Communities, Aka Ikenga, Council of Igbo Leaders UK, European Igbo Communities, Nkata Ndi Iyom Igbo, One Voice Uk, Council of Igbo States in America and Women Support and Mediation Group UK.

Though the group issued a communiqué arising from its alleged Zoom meeting, a representative of one of the Canada-based groups, Ben Allison, said the communiqué was not generally approved.

He wondered the rush to publish a communiqué that was not properly approved by those at the Zoom meeting.

“I see that this communiqué has been published in Nzuko Umunna Forum and perhaps, other forums before allowing members of the committee to have an input on the draft. This is wrong. If the names of members and their organisations must be on the publication, they must be allowed to see and read the draft before such publications,” he said.

Allison, who was listed on the communiqué as leader of Ndi Igbo Canada, also said: “I personally take exception to the unnecessarily incendiary language contained in the draft, “duplicity of outgoing Ohanaeze Ndigbo and their allies.

“A more diplomatic language should be employed. We must not come across as judgmental partisans but be seen as a neutral body with the singular purpose of steadying the rocking boat of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. I also feel this communiqué should contain some reasonable and proper preamble leading to its resolutions.”

Meanwhile, Daily Sun gathered that the Zoom meeting was convened at the instance of a suspended secretary general of the apex-Igbo group, Uche Okwukwu, a development that has irked several Igbo leaders.

According to our findings, Nwala is said to be piqued that he was not consulted in the constitution of the Ohanaeze election committee, though a member of the foundation, Sam Ohuabunwa, was appointed to the committee, while Okwukwu, was alleged to be seeking to scuttle the election as retaliation for his suspension.

He is also alleged to be seeking ways to install people who are amenable to the whims of his principal, who is a member of the federal cabinet.

Okwukwu was suspended as secretary general of the group in 2019 for what the Publicity Secretary, Uche Achi-Okpaga, said was “false representation of Ohanaeze official position.

“He (Okwukwu) has also arrogated to himself the power to the organs of Ohanaeze by altering positions purportedly taken by these organs which are patently and obviously false,” Ohanaeze said.

It was further disclosed that Okwukwu convened a meeting on December 31, 2020 in Owerri, in the name of Ohanaeze and tagged it ‘Imeobi’, to which he invited Nwala and a few others who honoured him with their presence.

But, according to information from the secretariat of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Enugu, the ‘Okwukwu Imeobi’ is illegal as the conveners have no powers to summon such a meeting and all genuine Imeobi meetings of Ohanaeze, properly constituted, hold in Enugu.

“The Okwukwu Imeobi is illegal, without basis and therefore null and void. Having been suspended, Okwukwu lacks the powers to summon or convene any meeting in the name of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. All those who attended the Okwukwu Imeobi simply went there to entertain themselves but we see it as part of a wider plot to truncate the elections holding on January 10 by some groups that do not have genuine interest of Ndigbo at heart,” a source at Ohanaeze secretariat said.

From Jude Chinedu, Enugu

There are indications that some self-acclaimed Igbo leaders are plotting to ensure the election of a new leadership for Ohanaeze Ndigbo slated for January 10, in Owerri, Imo State, does not hold.

An amorphous group, named Global Joint Igbo Leaders, in a statement said to have emerged from a Zoom meeting of some interest groups, was already seeking to upstage the scheduled January 10 election.

The group, Daily Sun gathered, is also seeking to create grounds to raise legitimacy questions when a new executive of Ohanaeze Ndigbo is empanelled.

The group, purportedly led by Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), with Uzodimma Nwala as president, listed other members of the group to include World Igbo Congress (WIC), Igbo World Assembly (IWA), Nzuko Umunna, Ndigbo Canada, Ekwe Nche USA, Igbo Board of Deputies UK, Council of Igbo Communities, Aka Ikenga, Council of Igbo Leaders UK, European Igbo Communities, Nkata Ndi Iyom Igbo, One Voice Uk, Council of Igbo States in America and Women Support and Mediation Group UK.

Though the group issued a communiqué arising from its alleged Zoom meeting, a representative of one of the Canada-based groups, Ben Allison, said the communiqué was not generally approved.

He wondered the rush to publish a communiqué that was not properly approved by those at the Zoom meeting.

“I see that this communiqué has been published in Nzuko Umunna Forum and perhaps, other forums before allowing members of the committee to have an input on the draft. This is wrong. If the names of members and their organisations must be on the publication, they must be allowed to see and read the draft before such publications,” he said.

Allison, who was listed on the communiqué as leader of Ndi Igbo Canada, also said: “I personally take exception to the unnecessarily incendiary language contained in the draft, “duplicity of outgoing Ohanaeze Ndigbo and their allies.

“A more diplomatic language should be employed. We must not come across as judgmental partisans but be seen as a neutral body with the singular purpose of steadying the rocking boat of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. I also feel this communiqué should contain some reasonable and proper preamble leading to its resolutions.”

Meanwhile, Daily Sun gathered that the Zoom meeting was convened at the instance of a suspended secretary general of the apex-Igbo group, Uche Okwukwu, a development that has irked several Igbo leaders.

According to our findings, Nwala is said to be piqued that he was not consulted in the constitution of the Ohanaeze election committee, though a member of the foundation, Sam Ohuabunwa, was appointed to the committee, while Okwukwu, was alleged to be seeking to scuttle the election as retaliation for his suspension.

He is also alleged to be seeking ways to install people who are amenable to the whims of his principal, who is a member of the federal cabinet.

Okwukwu was suspended as secretary general of the group in 2019 for what the Publicity Secretary, Uche Achi-Okpaga, said was “false representation of Ohanaeze official position.

“He (Okwukwu) has also arrogated to himself the power to the organs of Ohanaeze by altering positions purportedly taken by these organs which are patently and obviously false,” Ohanaeze said.

It was further disclosed that Okwukwu convened a meeting on December 31, 2020 in Owerri, in the name of Ohanaeze and tagged it ‘Imeobi’, to which he invited Nwala and a few others who honoured him with their presence.

But, according to information from the secretariat of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Enugu, the ‘Okwukwu Imeobi’ is illegal as the conveners have no powers to summon such a meeting and all genuine Imeobi meetings of Ohanaeze, properly constituted, hold in Enugu.

“The Okwukwu Imeobi is illegal, without basis and therefore null and void. Having been suspended, Okwukwu lacks the powers to summon or convene any meeting in the name of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. All those who attended the Okwukwu Imeobi simply went there to entertain themselves but we see it as part of a wider plot to truncate the elections holding on January 10 by some groups that do not have genuine interest of Ndigbo at heart,” a source at Ohanaeze secretariat said.


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