Raphael Ede, Enugu
Another crisis is brewing in apex Igbo Social cultural organization Ohanaeze Ndigbo as allegation of fraud and breach of election guideline continue to tray the recent election of the National Executive Committee of the Ohanaeze Youth Wing.
Recalled that Ohanaeze Ndigbo has announced tomorrow (today) for the inauguration of the newly elected executives of the Youth Wing at TOSCANA Hotels.
A petition to National Executive Committee of Ohanaeze against Mr Arthur Obiora the declared winner of the Ohanaeze youth national president, titled: ‘Ohanaeze Youth Wing elections: this shame must not stand’, by some contestants have called for the cancellation of the election.
They alleged that the election was flawed with irregularities and in breach of the election guideline the parents body Ohanaeze had set out.
The petition dated 5th May 2018, was signed by Hon. (Engr) Sir. Tony Uche Ezekwelu, contestant for the position of Leader, Comrade. Henry Ugo Opara, contestant for the Post of Publicity Secretary, Comrade. Christ Afunike contestant for the Post of Deputy National Leader and Comrade McDonald Ubani contestant for the Post of Ex-Officio (Abia).
According to the group, the declared winner of the election Arthur Obiora was not qualified to contest the election on age grounds since the electoral guidelines stipulated an age limit of 50 years.
“Based on evidence deduced from his current international passport No A 07320404, he was born on 23rd January, 1967 and as such was over 51 years of age as at 20 April, 2018 when the said election was held.
“Moreover, during the Ohaneze Youth Wing election of 2014, he had declared his age as 39 years! However, his First School Leaving Certificate and evidence from his primacy school mates in Oba shows that his actual age is over 56 years. Information available shows that the planned inauguration of the Ohaneze Youth Wing under his leadership scheduled for tomorrow in Enugu may not hold as bailiffs are set to storm the inauguration venue with a court order”, they said.
They however, described the plan by the NEC of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to hurriedly validate a shame and illegality by nocturnally inaugurating the executives the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing on Monday 7th of May, 2018 in Enugu, despite their protests, both written and verbal, and the overwhelming evidences of underhand practices by some members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo NEC as an insult to the sensibility of the Igbo youths.
“It is important to note that while we and a pool of the Igbo youth intelligentsia that are sympathetic to our course have decided to allow peace reign in the affairs our apex body, some persons should not mistake that for cowardice as we are ready to rattle the boat whenever our rights are infringed on. We are been forced to showcase our potentials and that we shall do”, they warned.
Meanwhile, in a statement the former National chairman of Ohaneze Youth Wing, Mazi Ikechukwu Bismarck Oji, issued yesterday in Enugu warned that “this attempt to buy over the leadership of Ohaneze Youth Wing because of 2019 politics must not be allowed to stand to avoid reversing the successes already recorded by the Chief Nnia Nwodo led Ohaneze leadership.
“If this fraud stands, it will be a negation of what Ohaneze stands which is equity, truth and justice.
“It will also make nonsense of the efforts of committed Igbo youth leaders for the past 18 years to build the Ohaneze Youth Wing”, he noted.
Mazi Oji pointed out that the annual IGBO DAY now being celebrated by Ohaneze is an achievement of the Youth Wing in 2000, stressing that then the former President Obasanjo “sneezed and our elders caught cold but we persevered not minding various threats against us”.
He warned that they (former leaders) would not allow jobbers and those who do not know the sacrifices they had made to have a youth wing to destroy it.