…Ime-Obi decision on venue final —Iwuanyanwu
By Peter Okutu & Chinonso Alozie
GOVERNOR David Umahi of Ebonyi State, has thrown his weight and that of Ebonyi people behind the aspiration of Professor George Obiozor as president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Also, yesterday, Umahi stated that contrary to insinuations in some quarters, President Muhammadu Buhari is not against the Igbo
Umahi stated this when a strong delegation in company of Professor George Obiozor paid him consultative visited at his Uburu country home in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
“Buhari is not against the Igbo man. It is in his time that Ebonyi State is seeing development, it is from his efforts that we are building the International Airport, the Ultra-modern Teaching Hospital and he even gave us over three billion naira to build the Cancer Centre in that hospital. So he doesn’t hate the Igbos”
Umahi, who is also chairman, South-East Governor’s Forum, lauded Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who led the delegation for his unrelenting efforts at preserving Igbo identity and galvanizing its unity.
He cautioned people of South-East against unguarded utterances that are capable of igniting hostilities among brothers and other regions in the country.
The Governor while calling on Chief Iwuanyanwu not to relent in the task of rebuilding the South-East through unity declared his support and that of Ebonyi people for the election of Professor Obiozor as President-General of Ohanaeze on January 10, 2021.
“I will stand with Ambassador Obiozor, we want character for the Igbo people, I love anyone that loves an Igbo man,” he said and tasked Professor Obiozor on regeneration of Igbo unity when he emerges as president-general.
Responding, Chief Iwuanyanwu who led the delegation commended Governor Umahi on his efforts at ensuring the peace and unity of the Igbo nation and massive renewal of the Abakaliki Capital City and environs.
Soliciting the support of Ebonyi State for Professor Obiozor whom he described as the best suited for the job, Iwuanyanwu said: “After rigorous evaluation, we have discovered that Professor Obiozor’s qualification and pedigree is quite appealing and we are convinced that he is the right person we can give to the South-East Governors’ Forum and Ndigbo and we will not be disappointed. He is a very sound person, he has served Nigeria in so many capacities and he is the choice of Imo people”
Professor George Obiozor who described Governor David Umahi as the best and brightest in the region, thanked the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Imo State Chapter for choosing him as its consensus candidate and pledged to live up to expectations.
“Governor Umahi is one of our best and brightest. He is the Governor of Governors, you are an example of Igbo exceptionalism, Igbo capacity of turning difficult things into something that proved to be dividends and opportunities, I thank you, I also thank Imo Ohanaeze for choosing me as their consensus candidate, Igbo today are in a difficult situation and we need maturity to solve those problems, my aim is to assemble the Igbo, all we need is to create a common cause. By coming to Ebonyi State today, we know that our future is bright and that is the option for the Igbo, by the grace of God, I will never disappoint you.”
Earlier in the day, in Owerri, Chief Iwuanyanwu said that Ohanaeze Ime-Obi’s decision to conduct 2021 Ohanaeze Election outside Enugu State is final.
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He said that it would not be the first time that the venue of Ohanaeze election would be held outside Enugu, recalling that it happened in the past in Anambra, Abia, and Delta states.
Chief Iwuanyanwu said that those who were kicking against the election taking place in Imo, do not understand the practice in Ohanaeze.
“Apart from that the Ohanaeze secretariat is under construction, it is our practice to shift election to places outside Enugu State, from time to time we have held election in Abia, Anambra, Delta and others.
“Ime-Obi has taken a decision and the decision of Ime-Obi is final. But some people here who seem not to understand what Ohanaeze is all about are causing this confusion, the problem is starting from Imo because Imo is producing the president-general.”
Igbo seeks unity but not unity of slaves – Obiozor
While presenting his agenda in Owerri, before the Ebonyi trip, Professor Obiozor said that the Igbo needed unity in Nigeria but not unity of slavery.
The former Ambassador, who was adopted as a consensus candidate, said that he is worried that Igbo have been suffering from negative profiling and should be ready to negotiate properly when the time comes in order not to continue to be slaves.
He said: “For far too long Igbo have been objects of stereotype and profiling which ended in being misunderstood and misrepresented in national politics or business, academia or artisans.
“Negative profiling has been an Igbo cross to carry since Nnamdi Azikiwe’s emergence in Nigeria politics in the 1940s. Consequently, quite often Igbo were confronted with envy, anger, hostility and violence at any given crises in Nigeria and outside Nigeria. But in the end it is still better to envy Ndigbo than pity Igbo.
“We are at a point to reassess the Igbo dilemma in Nigeria. Every major group in the minorities is doing same today. Ndigbo from all indications see restructuring as the most preferred option.
“However, whatever or whichever options others offer, what is real is that all the nationalities in Nigeria will sooner or later go into negations or debate over Nigeria’s future. And OhanaezeNdigbo, we must be ready to negotiate effectively by having a skilled and experienced people to bargain in the interest of Ndigbo.
“Specifically, we seek unity but not unity of slaves and masters and we seek peace but not peace of the grave yard. We seek justice because we know that throughout history those denied justice have had no interest in peace.
“As it stands now, it seems Nigeria and Nigerians would engage themselves in something like penalty shoot-out, every group must be careful in selecting their strikers. We must know that in a war of giants you send your giants.”