The embattled Secretary-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Uche Okwukwu, on Monday, declared that the apex Igbo socio-cultural body was heading for factionalization following the setting up of an electoral committee of the body on Sunday.
Chief Okwukwu who described committee now chaired by Chief Enwo Igariwey as unconstitutional, said that the crisis which it would generate could present the Igbo as disunited and possibly harm the clamour for the South East to produce Nigeria’s president in 2023.
Okwukwu, who spoke to journalists in Enugu has been in a running battle with the Chief Nnia Nwodo-led Ohaneaze, was subsequently suspended, though he said he remained the scribe of the Igbo umbrella body.
“The purported Imeobi where they set-up the electoral committee is null and void because only the Secretary-General has the power to do so by the Ohanaeze constitution. An illegal meeting was held and they set-up an electoral committee, which in my humble view is illegal, you can’t place something on nothing”.
He also faulted the timing of the election, noting that, “our tenure will end on 10th of January, 2021, technically speaking, we have about 20 days to the end of our tenure, this electoral committee would have been set up some three months ago, to go ahead draw guidelines, screen some candidates, because these days you to screen everything because of the issues of certificates in the country.
“My fear is that there may be parallel Ohanaeze; if something goes wrong, those who are aggrieved may announce a parallel Ohanaeze, and I have warned, those who are desirous to do wrong should know that they cannot dominate the space. God forbid that there is parallel Ohanaze, how would the Igbo be perceived, are we not going to be seen as people who are scattered?
“If there is a parallel Ohaneaze it will survive very well, but it will send a wrong signal that we are not united and Igbo presidency will suffer a setback, because we need the entire Igbo race to come together and speak with one voice. A crack that will lead to factionalization will not be in the interest of Ohanaeze, it will undermine us.
“We are likely going to lose the 2023 presidency, because even as we are talking now, our house is not yet in order.”
While calling on Igbo elders to rise up and save the body, he announced that another Imeobi would hold on December 31, 2020, during which another electoral committee, as well as a caretaker committee would be set-up to pilot the affairs of Ohanaeze for the next 6 months.