*Says he neither met Iwuanyanwu nor attended Imo stakeholders’ meeting
*Inner caucus to meet, issue election guidelines next week
By Clifford Ndujihe
President-General of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has dismissed as false reports that he visited Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and attended Imo Leaders of Thought of meeting, where a leader that will succeed him in January was chosen.
Chief Nwodo’s tenure will end in January 2020. By rotational principle of Ohanaeze the next president-general will come from Imo, a reason a host of Imo leaders are now in the race.
Those eyeing the Ohanaeze prime seat include Professor George Obiozor, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, and Dr. Joe Nwaogu.
Faulting the report, Nwodo said in a statement on Monday morning: “The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to a spurious, mendacious and malicious news item making the rounds that a candidate has been chosen to occupy the post of the President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, which by rotation, is now the turn of Imo State.
“The said vexatious piece would have been ignored for the chaff it is but for the fact that it impinges on the solid and time-tested tradition of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in choosing its leadership and the integrity of its present President-General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo.
“The truth of the matter is that posts in Ohanaeze Ndigbo are rotational and positions zoned to states. It is the responsibility of states to choose their candidates which they may prune down for their convenience.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo has the responsibility of organising election for all those who indicate interest and buy forms for the election.
“It is, therefore, preposterous and the height of mischief for anybody to write, or in any way infer, that Chief Nwodo went for an Imo State stakeholders meeting in Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu’s office.
“Chief Nwodo couldn’t have been at a meeting of Imo State Leaders Thought for the purpose of choosing a candidate for President-General when he wasn’t invited and Ohanaeze didn’t organise it.
“Moreover, the decision at the meeting will not stop Ohanaeze from conducting the forthcoming election.
“As a matter of fact, Chief Nwodo has not visited Chief Iwuanyanwu since the latter’s birthday celebration last year. They only met recently at a meeting with the Governors of the South East over other matters.
“It is wrong for people to listen to an illegitimate, sponsored and disgruntled group of people masquerading as the Youth Wing of Ohanaeze.
“It is also a great affront to the dignity and image of Ndigbo for purveyors of these fake news, intended to mislead the public, to be taken seriously.
“People should verify such information from the office of the President-General before accepting or releasing them, unless some mischief is intended.
“As to the conduct of the election, an announcement will be made by Ohanaeze Ndigbo after the meeting of the Imeobi next week.
“Any current information or story about the forthcoming election remains the figment of the imagination of its purveyor. Any such story is, therefore, false, void and puerile.
“No amount of innuendos and blackmail will deter Ohanaeze from bequeathing a virile leadership to Ndigbo.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, under the leadership of Chief Nwodo, is committed to the inviolate tradition of conducting a free, fair and transparent election to usher in its successors in January 2021.”