By Chinonso Alozie
Ohanaeze Ndigbo says it will soon commence compiling the data of Ndigbo overseas and outside Igbo land with a view to ensuring their protection and well-being.
It will also explore opportunities at all federal ministries and agencies with a view to ensuring their proper representation and fair positioning.
According to a statement by Chuks Ibegbu, national deputy publicity secretary of Ohanaeze, the President General of the Organisation, Chief Nnia Nwodo has called on Ndigbo outside Igbo land to invest at home as a fall back position. He also called on them to promote the Igbo language and heritage wherever they are.
“He also re-iterated the call for the release of Nnamdi Kanu and for federal presence in Igbo land, stressing that a situation where the South East has only five states and 95 local government areas is no longer tolerable.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo is dismayed by the recent utterances of the DG of the Voice of Nigeria, Mr Osita Okechukwu, claiming the the group is opposing President Muhammadu Buhari. This is a figment of his imagination. Ohanaeze is there to protect the interest of Ndigbo and will always shout if Ndigbo are sidelined in the scheme of things.
”Ohanaeze has said anything that is not in the best interest of Ndigbo to the President.
“It is very uncharitable for Osita Okechukwu to compare the immediate past regime of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and its decisions then with the position of its current leadership, ably led by Chief Nnia Nwodo.
“As an Igbo son, we expect Chief Okechukwu to join Ohanaeze Ndigbo in its determined role to advance the Igbo cause. He should separate facts from propaganda.”
Imo govt’s involvement in OYCouncil inauguration
Meantime, reactions have continued to trail the failure of the Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, to use the Imo International Convention Center, IICC, for the inauguration of its state executives.
Some members of OYC told Vanguard yesterday in Owerri that they were disappointed by the way the Imo State government treated them, while the government was of the view that OYC was not a recognised association.
Chairman of Imo State, OYC, Mr Mandela Igboanusi, while narrating the story said the association would not be deterred by challenges.
He said: “During our inauguration, we approached different classes of leaders in Imo State, including the people in government for support.
“As a result, it was difficult for us to get a hall. Based on this, we met with some people in government. I met the Chief of Staff to the government, Chief Uche Nwosu, through one of his aides, Mr. Ikenna Ohaeri. Every word I say is the truth.
“Ohaeri informed him (Nwosu) that we need a hall and he said we should notify him when the time comes. Subsequently, we wrote a letter to the Chief of Staff, which I personally gave to him.
“Ohaeri told us that it has been approved there and then and we began to make plans to put the IICC as the venue in the invitation letters we circulated.”
When Vanguard asked him how they were able to manage the situation, especially as they were not allowed entry into the IICC, he said: “There was no time we were given the impression that we should pay before we use the IICC. I will like to use this opportunity to say that we do not have factions in OYC.
“You know, in every plan, there must be a plan B. Initially, we considered the Rock View Hotel before the IICC. When the plan to use the IICC failed, I had to fall back. I must tell you, I muscled out every cash from my account and that was how we were able to pay for the venue at Rock View Hotel.”
When asked whether he felt disappointed, the chairman said: “If you use the word disappointment, it means that what we expected did not take place. You will agree with me that we were actually inaugurated in a big style.”