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Igbo Race And Consequences Of Ohaneze’s Shameful Political Miscalculation


FROM IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu – Since its formation in1976, the apex Igbo socio cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo, which ordinarily ought to be the umbrella body, and rallying point for the Igbo nation, had done more harm than good to the people.


The body with headquarters at Park Avenue, Enugu, Enugu state, is made up of the five southeast states, including the Igbo speaking indigenous communities in Rivers and Delta states.


It also, represents all Igbo communities within and outside the shores of Nigeria.


By census Igbos represent one of the three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria.


Although, the body is not a political party, but part of the objectives for its creation is to foster unity among its members, in other to better allow them to be representatives within the political scenario of Nigeria.


After the Nigerian civil war, some prominent Igbos gathered to proclaim the need to unify Igbos under a common umbrella body, this initiative was much welcomed considering maximum displacement of the Igbos during the war and its aftermath.


However, Professor Ben Nwabueze, a foremost and renowned constitutional lawyer, assembled prominent Igbo leaders to form the organization, of which he emerged her Secretary-General, a position he held for almost 20 years.


Suffice it to say that since Professor Nwabuze, left office many years ago, those that had been piloting affairs of the organization, had turned it into a money making venture, or “Cash and Carry” political platform, especially under the present leadership of Chief Enwo- Garry Igariwey.

Though, some other past leaders of Ohaneze, did not live up to expectation, as they also dragged the image of the organization, to the mud, because of their selfish and personal interest, the Igariwey led administration, had been adjudged the worst, and most corrupt in the history of the body.


The present Ohaneze leadership, under the watch of Igariwey has completely derailed from the main objective of establishing the Igbo umbrella body hence, Ndigbo at home and in diaspora, and have lost confidence in the administration.


Unlike the apex- socio cultural bodies of other ethnic nationalities that always champion the course, and lead the way for their people, such as the Arewa Consultative Forum, (ACF) in the North, Afenifere in the Western region, Ijaw National Congress (INC) in the South- South, amongst others, the Ohaneze had remained a disaster to Ndigbo, and conduit pipe for its leaders.


Rather than articulating human oriented ideas that would better the lots of Ndigbo,or equip them with good bargaining power with those seeking their support for elective political offices, the Igariwey led executive prefers enriching their personal pockets to the detriments of the entire Igbo nation. For scores of Ndigbo, the present Igariwey led administration remains a total disappointment to the Igbo race.


It also is on record that since the present executive came on-board close to three years now, Ndigbo, had been wallowing in both economic and political wildernesses,like flocks without shepard.


For instance, other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, embarked wild consultations with their people and major stakeholders, before taken a common position during the last presidential election, unlike Ohaneze, that endorsed president Goodluck Jonathan, of the PDP, even before he declared his interest to seek for a 2nd term in office.

Such re-occurring hasty and parochial selfish decision, by a body that ought to be the pillar and voice of Ndigbo, had continued to do serious harm to Igbo land.


For the Igbo nation to really move forward, or get its right share in the nation’s scheme of things, there is need for Ndigbo, to retrieve Ohaneze from the alleged political jobbers, currently steering its ship as well as detach it from partisan politics.


For Ohaneze to really command respect and win back the confidence of the people, Ndigbo must ensure that only those with unquestionable characters are given the opportunity to serve in the organization, unlike what is currently obtained in the present exco.

The Ohaneze, non wide consultation, and hasty decision in endorsing president Goodluck Jonathan, and Peoples Democratic party, PDP presidential candidate in the 2015 presidential poll, which the (latter) lost to General Mohammadu Buhari of the All progress Congress, APC should be an eye opener and lesson to Ndigbo and the selfish Ohaneze leaders.


Though, the Ohaneze chieftains, may not have any regret for endorsing president Jonathan, after all, they allegedly collected a bribed money of over 5 billion from the president, which they shared among themselves to the detriment of other fellow Igbo men and women.


Now that the presidential election has been won and lost, and going by the hasty position of Ohaneze, in the project, it is only by share divine intervention that the Igbo race will benefit from the APC led government, after all, there is a saying that “you don’t reap where you did not sow”

As a people, Ndigbo, must begin to resist unpopular decisions of some of their selfish leaders such as Chief Igariwey, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Senator Hope Uzodimma, Dr. Joe Nworgu, amongst others who always plunge the race into positions that do more harm than good to Ndigbo, because of their personal interests, especially during political electioneering.


Besides, it is high time Ndigbo re-strategize in the nation’s polity, and learn how not to always put all their eggs in one political basket, because again, “a stitch in time they say, saves nine”


However, as a failed socio cultural organization, under the present leadership, Igariwey and co should have no business taking critical decision on burning national issues on behalf of Ndigbo, until a credible, reliable and trustworthy leaders are enthroned in the organization, as obtained in the days of ex- president- General, Justice Eze Ozobu.


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