BY TONY EDIKE
ENUGU — Crisis is brewing in the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, over its stance on the proposed national conference as the women wing of the organisation, yesterday, vowed to resist imposition of delegates that would represent Ndigbo.
Leader of Igbo Women Assembly and former President of National Council of Women Societies in Enugu State, Chief Maria Okwor, who briefed newsmen in Enugu, alleged that the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, led by Chief Garry Igariwey, as President-General and Dr. Joe Nwaorgu as Secretary-General, had planned to plant stooges as delegates that would represent Igbo women at the conference.
She substantiated her allegation by citing a women’s meeting convened by the duo of Igarawey and Nwaorgu at the Ohanaeze secretariat in Enugu, yesterday, where prominent women members of Imeobi Ohanaeze including herself were excluded.
Mrs. Okwor therefore vowed that Igbo women would mobilise for a protest against the selection by the Ohanaeze chieftains if their conspiracy came to fruition.
Okwor alleged that Ohanaeze women group had already elected their leaders which she said the Ohanaeze leaders had refused to recognise.
She noted that it was because of the leadership crisis in Ohanaeze Ndigbo that made the Professor Ben Nwabueze-led Igbo Leaders of Thought comprising of eminent persons in Igbo land to articulate issues for discussion at the proposed conference, adding that Igbo women supports the position of the Nwabueze group.
Okwor suggested that the Governors of the South East should be involved in appointing delegates for the conference
The Women leader also suggested that Nigeria go back tp parliamentary system of government, noting that the present presidential system is not only costly but filled with corruption.
”There is also so much power concentrated at the centre. Power should be devolved to regions or zones,” she suggested.
The woman activist said: “We did not agree with the PAC report because what we need in Nigeria today is a new constitution and not a military constitution that we are currently operating. We have agreed to be at the conference despite the modalities but we don’t want another jamboree in the name of national conference.
”Now that Ohanaeze has problem, we asked Nwabueze to call everybody together to harmonize views to be presented at the conference. After articulating the Igbo positions, Igariwey was invited to sign the document but he refused.