The National Executive Committee (NEC) of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has passed a vote of confidence on its President General, Ambassador Professor George Obiozor, hailing his commitment to the actualisation of Igbo presidency in 2023 and to a political solution to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu saga.
This is as the apex Igbo socio-cultural association, rose from a meeting condemning the action of some Igbo women said to have taken the Ozo title, after investigating and deliberating on an online viral video of the women’s group called Umunwanyi Ozo Prestigious Chieftaincy Association, UK and Ireland.
In separate statements by Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the apex pan Igbo organisation, which commended Ambassador Obiozor for his principled positions on the Igbo presidency project and the Mazi Kanu issue, came down hard on the Igbo women in the UK and Ireland for sacrilegious conduct and for desecrating Igbo customs.
Full texts of the statements read:
OHANAEZE NDIGBO PASSES VOTE OF CONFIDENCE ON OBIOZOR
The motion for the vote of confidence was moved by the National Publicity Secretary of the association, Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia. The Ohanaeze Spokesman expressed immense delight that Professor Obiozor has shown leadership in the quest for a Nigerian president to emerge from the South East of Nigeria. Ogbonnia explained that Obiozor has maintained an unwavering and vigorous advocacy for the prevalent Igbo project. Obiozor has used his profound intellectual prowess, diplomatic finesse, national and foreign contacts to sustain the Igbo dream. Ogbonnia recalled the Obiozor deliberations with the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum led by Chief Edwin Clarke that gave rise to a communique that it will be a regrettable requiem for any political party that fails to pick its presidential candidate from the South. The Forum asserted that Nigeria is founded on a negotiated unity between the diverse Nigerian nationalities and that only a balance of interests among the component units can guarantee its corporate existence. Ogbonnia noted that since the present cycle of Nigerian democracy, 1999 to date, the presidency has rotated between the North and the South; any effort to truncate the norm is a back-pedal and indeed a downward trajectory to the dark days of Nigerian history. On the other hand, the least General Muhammadu Buhari owes Nigeria is to “do unto the South East in 2023 what General Olusegun Obasanjo did unto the North in 2007. This is equity; an irrevocable universal principle whose violation attracts perilous consequences.
Ogbonnia also cited the unalloyed position of Ambassador Obiozor on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu; reiterating that even when it is clear that Obiozor does not align with the Kanu methodology, he has nevertheless displayed incredible large heart, fatherliness, creative empathy and offered useful suggestions through which Kanu can be set free. Ogbonnia recalled that Obiozor is the author of political solution for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. In furtherance to that, he also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to invoke his powers on the Prerogative of Mercy on the issue of Nnamdi Kanu. Obiozor has through a sustained engagement with various stake holders harmonized the various diverse interest groups in Igbo Land.
In seconding the motion, the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Delta State, Hon. Frank Nwandu stated that Obiozor is God-given and that there couldn’t have been a better turbulence manager than the Obiozor genius. In supporting the motion, Comrade Paul Nwankwo, the President of Abia State commended Obiozor for his wisdom, competence and inter-ethnic political relations. The President of Ohanaeze, Imo State, in his own contribution, commended the vision, integrity, diplomatic dexterity and uncommon zeal in the President General. The motion received unanimous support and ovation.
Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide
OHANAEZE POSITION ON OZO TITLE.
The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide was drawn to an online viral video of Igbo women by a group name, Umunwanyi Ozo Prestigious Chieftaincy Association, UK and Ireland. As an apex Igbo socio-cultural association, Ohanaeze needed to investigate the circumstances surrounding such a bizarre development. To this end, Ohanaeze played host to a delegation from the United Kingdom, specifically on the issue of Ozo title by Igbo women. Efforts were also made to reach some of the spiritual leaders of Igbo Land. Above all, it is also necessary to take into consideration the views of the various organs of Ohanaeze Ndigbo before our final position. The National Executive Committee (NEC) of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor, sat on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 and stated as follow.
1. There are some women who in their Igbo nostalgia joined the Umunwanyi Ozo Prestigious Chieftaincy Association, UK and Ireland without the full grasp of the full implications of their misdemeanor. It was discovered that the conscientious and virtuous among them have already withdrawn from the association and pleaded for understanding.
2. Ohanaeze Ndigbo draws a distinction between the Ozo title and Chieftaincy title in Igbo Land; whereas a chieftaincy title can be bestowed on anybody by a traditional ruler in appreciation for one’s contribution to the society, the initiation into the Ozo institution must be in a person’s ancestral home after several background checks culminating in cultural and puritanical processes. On the other hand, the sacred dimension of the Ozo title places it at the highest pedestal among other titles in Igbo Land.
3. Ohanaeze views the Igbo egalitarianism and republicanism as positive attributes that stimulate and inspire creativity and entrepreneurship but cautions that a distasteful public demeanor attracts opprobrium, condemnations, disdain and most importantly, a shame to the relatives of such deviants.
4. Ohanaeze strictly adopts the position expressed by Nzuko Ozo Ndi Igbo in Nigeria “that throughout Igbo land, Ozo title taking is an exclusive preserve for men. WOMEN DO NOT AND CANNOT TAKE OZO TITLE”. The communique signed by Professor Ike Oluka and Prince Ikenna Onyesoh, the Regent of Nri Ancient Kingdom asserts that “it is reckless and irresponsible for a group of Igbo Women within or outside the shores of Nigeria to claim to be Ozo title holders and also claim to have formed an association called “Umunwanyi Ozo Prestigious Association of United Kingdom and Ireland.”
5. The Ohanaeze connection to the viral video was also investigated and the leaderships of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the UK and Ireland have already dissociated themselves from the despicable melodrama.
6. Based on the foregoing, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo has directed all Igbo women to desist from conducts capable of placing them in bad light. For emphasis, Ohanaeze Ndigbo is very proud of several Igbo women of global renown who have displayed unassailable intellect, administrative competence and panache in their chosen fields of endeavor. These Igbo women are pointing to a direction that is worthy and commendable.
7. Finally, it is important to point out the age-long universal maxim that holds strongly, especially in Igbo Land: Anybody, no matter how highly placed that indulges in sacrilegious delusions, swell-headedness and megalomania incurs the wrath of the land and as such is cursed with mysterious plagues and a lower status on re-incarnation.
Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, (Ozo Onochie, Okeosisi Ugbo, Ozowaluona Mbanabo, etc.) National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.