BY SUNNY DAVID
A chieftain of Ohaneze-Ndigbo and a former Governer Willie Obiano’s representative to Ohaneze-Ndigbo, Comrade Arinzechukwu Awogu, has asked the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, the Ohaneze-Ndigbo, to anchor the incoming leadership of the group on Ndi-Igbo.
He stated this when some national and state officers of Ohaneze-Ndigbo led by its Anambra state chapter president, Chief Damian Okeke Ogene, visited Ogbaru council area for the inauguration of Ogbaru local government area chapter of the body.
He stated that Ohaneze-Ndigbo was designed by its gravemen to be apolitical and to have the people as its foundation.
Comrade Awogu regretted that Ohaneze-Ndigbo now anchors itself on political office holders which is why it is faltering and speaking from both sides of the mouth. “The South-East governors and other political office holders from Ani-Igbo are not the sole owners of Ohaneze-Ndigbo, but the people.
“The endorsement of a presidential candidate in 2019 election by one section of Ohaneze and the other section andorsing another presidential candidate remains one of the sordid chapters of the outgoing Ohaneze leadership and it explains why Ohaneze mustn’t be partisan.
Ohaneze must shake off overbearing influence of political office holders and seekers of political office for the people’s confidence in her to grow.
“An Ohaneze that will not be far from its youth population. An Ohaneze that will accommodate the recalcitrant but penitent ones amongst us, such that individual concerns and group prejudice are resolved in the interest of Igbo unity and strengthening of the socio-cultural body.
“The Ohaneze under the leadership of retired Justice Eze Ozoubu (late) and our own Prof. Ben Nwabueze remains a model and we look to see the incoming Ohaneze leadership replicate their feat,” he stated.
The State President of Ohaneze-Ndigbo, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, in his speech said that their coming to Ogbaru was to the Ohaneze a home coming, saying that Ogbaru has played a significant role in the Igbo cause and in the formation of Ohaneze-Ndigbo.
Chief Okeke-Ogene spoke about Prof. Ben Nwabueze and his role in Ohaneze, describing him as a great Igbo leader and poured encomium on Comrade Arinzechukwu Awogu whom he said conducted the election that midwifed the current Ohaneze-Ndigbo together with late Col. Joe Achuzie.
“Ohaneze-Ndigbo is the umbrella body of all Igbos and the body has done well in stabilizing Igboland. My tenure expires this December but I have decided not to go for re-election, it is a moral decision I have taken.
“We thank Comrade Awogu for being a part of Ohaneze and for his role in helping to bring the out going administration of Ohaneze-Ndigbo into office. We are happy that the footprint he left in Ohaneze is also been seen in Ogbaru as the Transition Chairman of Ogbaru Local Government Area. We are grateful to the Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Willie Obiano for his support for Ohaneze-Ndigbo,” Chief Ogene said.
The visiting Ohaneze also paid homage to Ogbaru traditional rulers at their Council Chambers and speaking onbehalf of Ndi-Igwe Ogbaru, the traditional ruler of Ochuche-Umuodu Community, Igwe Barrister Osy Ijomah thanked Ohaneze-Ndigbo for being the eyes of Ndigbo.
Igwe Ijomah urged them as the umbrella body of Ndigbo to ensure that they protect all their legs which he said the youths of Igboland is one of.
The monarch appealed to Ohaneze to bring the youths of Igboland closer and guide them, stressing that we should lose no more lives of Igbo youths under any guise.
Certificate of office was later presented to the executive members of Ohaneze-Ndigbo, Ogbaru Chapter led by Comrade Nwachukwu Uzoije by the State President, Chief Damian Okeke Ogene. The National Youth leader of Ohaneze-Ndigbo, Chief Arthur Uchennna Obiora, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze-Ndigbo, Chief Chuks Iloegbu among others were in attendance.