By Chioma Gabriel, Editor, Special Features
Crisis is currently brewing in the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, over allegations and counter-allegations of unaccounted N40 million by the Lagos chapter and the refusal of the outgoing Lagos executive to have the national body of Ohanaeze preside over a new election.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that the crisis started with the factionalization of the Lagos chapter of the body between its current president Barrister Onwughalu on one side and his deputy Ferguson Okoli on the other side. The crisis which bordered on alleged financial imbroglio allegedly led to the factionalization of the current executive and membership. The problem according to our source was already there before Nwodo emerged president-general of the body.
Said our source: “But when Nwodo became president general of Ohanaeze,he instituted a committee of six persons from the national body at Enugu presided by the deputy Inspector General of Police, retd, Chief Okpara who is also Nwodo’s deputy. That means that after Nwodo, Chief Okpara is the next, then followed by the vice-presidents of the states. Each state has a vice president. The committee of six met meticulously since June and at the end, they agreed that they want conflict resolution, peace and ambiance of normality. They now called the two Lagos factions and asked if they want peace and they said yes. They were now asked to go back to their former positions and urged not to interrupt the succession pattern and they agreed.
“The committee now appointed three persons in Ohanaeze Lagos to monitor the activities of the executives and what they are doing. The three persons were Chief Guy Ikokwu, Chief Odunukwe who is the owner of Colonade Hotels and Vice president from Anambra and Dr Ebigwe who the Vice president from Delta who is resident in Lagos.”
Sunday Vanguard source said the Lagos executive promised they will do well and exit properly but a different report was submitted at the general meeting of Ohanaeze in Enugu.
Said our source: “ They refused to give account of their stewardship so much so that about N40million was allegedly unaccounted for.”
A top chieftain of Ohanaeze in Lagos, Chief Guy Ikokwu, confirmed the story.
When Sunday Vanguard got the Lagos president of Ohanaeze, Onwughalu,yesterday, and presented the allegations, he said they were unfounded and all lies as he followed the procedure for doing things in Ohanaeze.