By Tony Edike
ENUGU—Secretary to Ohanaeze Ndigbo Election Committee, Prince Richard Ozobu, has dissociated himself from last Saturday’s election which produced a new executive for the association, insisting that a fresh election would be conducted next Saturday, January 19, 2013.
”As Secretary to the National Electoral Committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, established by Imeobi Ohanaeze, the only organ with inherent powers to do so, as an independent body mandated to organize and conduct elections at various levels of Ohanaeze from local government to the national executive level, I hereby inform Ndigbo here and Worldwide that no such elections envisaged by the Ohanaeze Constitution took place,” Ozobu said in a statement issued in Enugu yesterday.
According to him, as secretary of the committee, he is the only person, by virtue of his office, that has the responsibility to issue notices, after all conditions for any elections had been met.
He said: “For that of Election into National Offices, Notice is mandatory through two National Daily Newspapers, and such notice would only come after all due process needed to conduct a free and fair election had been accomplished.
”I did not issue any notice for such election. To the Contrary, I issued a well publicised press release that the election for that 12th had been put off to the original date it was scheduled, that is the 19th of January. That date also being the date requested and approve by Imeobi, for the National election.
“The reasons for moving the election from 12th to 19th of January were stated as restated hereunder: late return of completed appraisal forms by the contestants; incomplete delegate lists as results of state elections were still coming in; non-resolution of many petitions against the conduct of state elections from where national delegate lists are obtained.”
Ozobu declared that the only meaningful exercise in that 12th January assembly in the Ohanaeze Secretariat was the dissolution of the national executive committee announced by the President General, Amb. Ralph Uwechue, adding that a total executive vacuum had been created.
According to him, the only standing authority recognizable in Ohanaeze’s secretariat is the electoral body for which he was fully responsible.