By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI-OHANAEZE Ndigbo Thursday warned that it will not fold its arms and allow any illegitimate group or persons to discredit it by issuing what it described as staccato statements tailored towards dragging the image of the organization into the mud.
The organization further stressed that there was no crack or division in its operations and constitution as the Igbo apex body in the country.
In a statement issued in Abakaliki on behalf of the National Executive Committee, NEC of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, the National Publicity Secretary of the Igbo group, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga who described the relationship between the national leadership of Ohanaeze and the IPOB as that of father and son added that no amount of pressure or attack in any form can derail or deform the resolve of the group towards protecting the views, interests and aspirations of Ndigbo.
The statement read in part: “The attention of the National Executive Committee, NEC, of Ohaneze Ndigbo has been drawn to the activities of a group led by one Chris Isiguzor parading as and issuing statements on behalf of the Ohaneze Youth.
“It is pertinent to note that the leadership of the Ohanaeze Youth Wing was suspended way back in 2016 by the former NEC led by Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey through the Imeobi of Ohaneze. Owing to some inconsequential and discordant actions of the leadership of the Youth Wing, the Imeobi suspended in May, 2016 (more than eight months before the current NEC was elected on 10th January, 2017) relying on Article 23(iv)(b) of the Ohanaeze Constitution to wit: “Imeobi shall have the powers to dissolve the leadership of any wing, scrap or modify any wing as it deems fit in the interest of the Ohanaeze”.
“The suspension was not and has not been lifted; instead, the suspension order was inherited alongside that of the Women Wing by the present NEC on assumption of office and has been looking at the problems of the two wings in order to arrive at a final and acceptable solution.
“On the above premise, it is imperative to note that Ohanaeze has no crack or division and does not issue staccato statements and will not allow any illegitimate group or persons to issue statements and credit to Ohanaeze in any guise. We are not oblivious that they are machinations tailored to drag Ohanaeze’s name, image and integrity in the mud.
“Currently, we have in custody a concrete and undeniable evidence of meetings and engagements of some Igbo sons (including Chris Isiguzor) and some other sponsored persons from a far geopolitical zone to distract and dismember Ohanaeze and create the impression that Ohanaeze is not one and does not speak for Ndigbo.
“We state in clear terms that the relationship between the national leadership of Ohanaeze and the IPOB is that of father and son. They remain our wards and the pages of newsprints cannot be the appropriate channel to admonish them. No sane man would chide his son in the market. Those who publish unguarded statements create crises between the Ohanaeze and the IPOB and infer bodies would only eat their disappointments.
“At any rate, we are focused and undaunted in Ohanaeze so that no amount of pressure or attack in any form can derail or deform our resolve to protect the views, interests and aspiration of Ndigbo”