Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has said that the emergence of Professor George Obiozor as the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo was linked to everything Ndigbo.
Governor Ikpeazu specifically said that Obiozor’s election was linked to Ndigbo’s survival politically, economically and to “the future of our children”.
The governor said this on Channels TV Politics Today, on Monday, adding that “Obiozor has the capacity to interpret the vision of Ndigbo against the backdrop of our interests in Nigeria’s polity.”
Obiozor, a former Nigerian ambassador to the United States, Cyprus and Israel, was elected President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on Sunday.
Although controversies trailed the build-up to the election and the emergence of a parallel President-General, Ikpeazu insisted that the Obiozor leadership was the only recognised one.
Asked the significance of Obiozor’s leadership to the 2023 presidential election, Ikpeazu said: “The election of Obiozor is linked to everything: the survival of Ndigbo in terms of trade and commerce, SMEs and politics.
“The emergence of Obiozor is also linked to education and the future of our children.”
On the process of election, the governor said the succession plan for the leadership of Ohanaeze was well known.
His words: “The President-General seat was zoned to Imo State. They put forward their candidates and we went to the field and chose. So the election is in order. The presence of a factional leadership of Ohanaeze does not exist as far as we are concerned.
“The leadership of Ndigbo, at this time, is not what we can deploy sentiment to arrive at. We have to look at someone that has the pedigree, clout, visibility and capacity to interpret the vision of Ndigbo against the backdrop of our interests in the Nigeria polity.”
On those that pulled out and called for a postponement, the governor said: “At no point can everybody be 100% ready for an election. But you have to prepare within the timeframe provided.
“Some of them tried to dig a hole that will lead to a legal tussle. Some could be hirelings, spoilers or lily-livered candidates.
“But if you are writing an exam, you have to prepare within the framework of the syllabus and write it within the timeframe provided. You can’t keep telling the examiner to postpone the exam.”
Okezie Ikpeazu stressed that all the governors of the South-East states were behind Obiozor.