By Dennis Agbo— ENUGU
OHANAEZE Ndigbo was divided, on Sunday, after the announcement of the electoral committee members by the outgoing President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo.
Nwodo announced the list of committee members towards the end of Imeobi meeting in Enugu on Sunday, with Senator Ben Obi of Anambra State and Ferdinand Agu of Enugu State as Chairman and Secretary, respectively.
However, the first to raise an objection was Senator Chris Ngige, who said there was no consultation before drawing the list that, he alleged, included practicing politicians. He asked for a fresh list.
Owelle Rochas Okorocha amplified Ngige’s objection, adding that former governors, such as himself and others, who he said were stakeholders in Ohanaeze Ndigbo, were undermined in drawing of the list.
The Imeobi meeting became charged with the sharp division. But the tension was brought under control by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who pleaded that the list be accepted, noting that it had no non-Igbo as a committee member.
General Obi Umahi (rtd) also threw his weight behind the list, saying that even given up to 2023, it would be difficult to have a consensus list.
Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Maurice Iwu, alleged that there was a suspicious hand of a political party to influence the election and asked for adoption of the list.
Motion for adoption of the list was raised by the President-General of Association of South-East Town Unions, ASETU, Chief Emeka Diwe and seconded by Chief Guy Ikeokwu.
Nwodo threw the motion to a voice vote and the ‘yes’ had louder acclamation. The list was adopted.
The process for the election of new leadership for the apex Igbo socio-cultural body is on, as Chief Nwodo’s tenure will end in January 2021.
By the rotational principle of Ohanaeze, the next President-General will come from Imo State.
Therefore, former Nigeria Ambassador to the United States, Professor George Obiozor, it was reported, emerged as the consensus candidate to succeed Nwodo.
Professor Obiozor was unanimously presented as a consensus flagbearer by Imo State stakeholders at an event in Owerri, in November.