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Crisis Looms In Ohaneze Ndigbo Over Tenure Elongation

Ignatius Okpara, Enugu – The Elders Council of the apex Igbo socio cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has commenced a transition programme for the election of a new leadership in January 2015.

To this end, the council on Wednesday set up a seven-man electoral committee to organize a general election of the body soonest, since the present tenure of the Chief Garry Enwo Igariwey,led executive will elapsed in January 7, 2015.

The Council directs that the new executive to be inaugurated in January 2015 should as a matter of priority appoint a recognized firm of Auditors to audit the Accounts of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

Chairman of the Election Committee is Dr. Eze Agbogu (Anambra) while other members include: Chief Jumbo Offor (Abia), Chief (Mrs) Ada Achor (Abia), Prince Emeka Onyeso (Anambra), Chief (Mrs) Roseline Njoku (Ebonyi) and Elder Nweke Anyigor (Ebonyi).

Others are; Prince Richard Ozobu (Enugu), Chief (Mrs) Maria Okwo (Enugu), Pharm Bright Ulokpu (Imo), Chief Ignatius Okameme (Imo), Chief I. A. Nwankwo (Anioma Delta) and Onuchi Mpi (Rivers).

In a communiqué after the meeting of the Council at Pan-Afric Hotels Enugu, former Minister of Aviation and Chairman of the Council, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, said the action became necessary following the refusal of the present executive to constitute the electoral panel.

According to Mbazuluike, he had earlier summoned a meeting of Elders and prominent Igbo Leaders of thought at the Ohanaeze Headquartres on November 8, 2014, on his capacity as chairman of the Council of Elders, where the meeting unanimously passed a resolution that election be conducted immediately since the tenure of the present executive would expire on 7th January, 2015.

“This resolution was communicated to the President-General and Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo but they failed or refused to conduct the election of officers, claiming that they would stay for four years in office instead of the two years provided in the Constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

“Because of some special Agenda which Ndigbo had in 2010-2011, the Imeobi Ohanaeze passed a special Resolution giving the then leadership and executive of Ohanaeze two years extension.

“This extension was given to the incumbent Executive at that time and did not and could not amount to an Amendment to the Constitution.

“Taking so many factors into consideration in the best interest of the Igbo nation, the Council of Elders of Ohanaeze, under the chairmanship of Chief Mbazulike Amechi, has today (Wednesday) constituted an Election Committee with a Mandate to conduct election of National Officers of Ohanaeze soonest” the communiqué stated.

The Elders Council noted that the Constitution provides for audit of the Accounts every year, but the Accounts have not been audited for some years.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo should be run transparently for the benefit and good of Ndigbo worldwide and must not be allowed to be converted to an opportunist gold mine for a few individuals who will mortgage the general and over all interest of Ndigbo today and tomorrow.”

Amechi, regretted that Ndigbo has been losing credibility and effectiveness due to poor leadership, a development that has made many Igbo leaders, including the governors, to lose interest in the organization.

The Council resolved that if by the expiration of the present executive on January 7, 2015, the Election Committee could not conclude her assignment, a new Care taker Committee would be set up to preside over the affairs of the body pending the conclusion of the elections.

The meeting was attended by a host of elders across the five states of South East plus Delta and Rivers states, including; former Secretary-General of the organization, Chief Nduka Eya, Chief Enechi Onyia (SAN), Dr. Omenacho Dickson and Chief Ralph Obiora.

Chief Eya, in his remarks, had earlier told the Council that he was the Secretary-General when the tenure of the former executive of the organization was extended by extra two years due to special circumstances that had to do with 2011 general elections, but insisted that extension does not amount to constitutional amendment, as the constitution stipulates methods and processes of amending it.


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