From Magnus Eze, Enugu
Four months after the election of the George Obiozor-led National Executive Council of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, some concerned members of the Imeobi have initiated moves to reconcile aggrieved parties in the organisation.
Similarly, governors from the South East region have after a recent meeting with Ohanaeze Ndigbo, traditional rulers and religious leaders in Enugu, mandated the apex Igbo body to reconcile all the groups in the zone.
The processes that brought Obiozor to office as President-General on January 10, 2021 in Owerri, Imo State, had created some bad blood within the ranks of Ohanaeze, leading to a group led by a certain Chidi Ibeh claiming to be the authentic executive.
So, concerned Imeobi members consisting of Chris Okoye (Secretary), Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Elder Kalu U. Kalu, Chief Nduka Eya, and Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, constituted a peace committee in Enugu on May 6, 2021, with the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, the Most Rev. Anthony Obinna as Chairman, while the Anglican Archbishop of Enugu Province, the Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, is co-chairman.
Chairman of the concerned Imeobi members, Elder Uma Eleazu, said they could no longer watch while things go wrong, noting that the times were most inappropriate for Ndigbo to be divided and fighting one another.
He acknowledged that the Imeobi alone could not handle the fallout of the election, hence the need to approach the spiritual leaders of the people to reach out to the contending parties to see how they could bring peace among them.
His co-chair, Most Rev. Chukwuma, emphasised the need for Ndigbo to speak with one voice in other to achieve their aims and objectives within the context of a united Nigeria. He added that no effort would be spared in actualising the objective.
Secretary of the committee and Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia, the Most Rev. Chibuzo Opoko, remarked: “What the Imeobi has done, is to bring the College of Archbishops and Bishops to look into this and to bring all contending members or patrons together under one body so that we can be united in purpose, united in essence to defend our land.”
Members of the peace committee include, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, The Most Rev. Valerian Okeke; Methodist Archbishop of Enugu, Most Rev. Christopher Ede; Anglican Archbishop of Niger, Most Rev. Alex Ibezim; Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Rt. Rev. Godfrey Onah and the Anglican Archbishop of Aba Province, Most Rev. Chijioke Nwaobia.
Others are Bishop Obi Onubogu of Rock Family Church, and Most Rev. Uma Onwunta, Principal Clerk Emeritus of The Presbyterian Church, Nigeria.