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Ohaneze elections: Former scribe warns against political interference

Dr. Joe Nwaorgu

By Francis Onyeukwu
Awka, Dec.4, 2020

Dr Joe Nworgu, former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo says Ohanaeze might lose its potency as voice for Igbos if politicians are allowed to interfere in the January 2021 elections.
Nworgu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview on Friday in Awka that article 11 of Ohanaeze spelt out methods and persons qualified for president general and secretary general positions.
Ohanaeze, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation through Imeobi, the highest policy making organ cedes positions to five South-East states of Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Anambra and Imo as well as Igbo speaking parts of Rivers and Delta.
Nworgu said it was very clear that Imo would produce the next president general of Ohaneze slated for January, 2021, saying “all we are waiting for is for the Imeobi to meet on December 6, and come up with guidelines for the election.
“While we wait for the guidelines, I want to state that I am contesting for the position of president general as Imo State indigene.
“My stand as it affects next Ohanaeze election and the position of president general is that nobody can be sole candidate for that post in a state with the slot.
“The Constitution stipulates that at least three persons from a state can contest the positions of president or secretary general.
“Imo State Government is at liberty to support any candidate of her choice, but that does not mean that other persons from the state cannot contest,” he said.
Nworgu noted that if other interested parties are made to forgo their interest, it would result to denying other constituent states the right to choose a candidate of their choice.
Nworgu, who was deputy secretary general between 2000 and 2003 as well as secretary general between 2013 and 2017, said there are indications already that people outside Igbo tribe are showing open support for someone for the president general position.
“The clear interest of people outside Igbo race on who leads Ohanaeze is a very dangerous sign to the future of the body as a voice for our people.
“If we want other tribes to dictate for us, so be it, but that would mean bringing down the rating of Ohanaeze from the present height the present leadership by Chief John Nwodo has taken the body to,” he said.
NAN gathered that the following persons: Mike Okiro, former Inspector General of Police (retired), Prof. George Obiozor, Dr Joe Nworgu, Chief Chris Asoluka, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike and Prof. Chidi Osuagwu all from Imo have interest in the number one position of Ohanaeze.

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