Pioneer secretary of South East Peoples Assembly and associate professor of Political Science and International Relations, University of Abuja, Dr. Promise Onyewuchim Okoro, has said there is no provision for consensus candidate in the constitution of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Stating that there is neither a Joseph nor Pharaoh in the contest for Ohanaeze presidency, Okoro declared: “You must not be a ‘Joseph’ known by ‘Pharaoh’ before emerging as the PG of Ohaneze Ndigbo worldwide.”
He condemned the presentation of a consensus candidate by a group of people as choice of Imo State, saying the decision on who leads Ohanaeze will be determined by all Igbo members, and not just people from Imo State, whose turn it is to produce a President General.
Okoro said with 2023 general election coming close, Ohanaeze cannot afford to be divided, while warning: “Our leaders and elders should desist from acts capable of generating bad blood, divisions and acrimonies among our people.”
Full text of Okoro’s statement reads: “In the last few weeks ago , the issue of Ohanaeze presidency has been on the national discourse especially in the print and social media. Though it is the turn of ndi Imo to produce the next President General, that does not imply that anyone or selected group of individuals with vested interests should impose a candidate on not only imolites but also the entire igbo nation.
“Article 11B of Ohanaeze constitution is very clear and explicit on how a President General will emerge. It is not just an Imo State affair but rather the entire states that make up Ohanaeze must participate and elect a candidate of their choice and by this Imo State is expected by Ohanaeze constitution to produce not more than three aspirants for that position.
“Ohanaeze as a socio-cultural organisation that unite Ndigbo worldwide cannot afford to be fractured or divided at this critical point in time with 2023 general election in view. Our leaders and elders should desist from acts capable of generating bad blood, divisions and acrimonies among our people.
“Ndi Imo like other Ohanaeze member states are very much blessed and endowed with men and women of high intergrity and decorum, who are not only eminently qualified but also have excelled in their specialties. Endorsing or rather ‘coronating’ one person out of several qualified others is to say the least unacceptable and an open invitation to an endless crisis.
“We demand for a level playing ground for all the aspirants. We also demand for a free, fair and credible election rather than coronation. It is even wrong to talk of ‘consensus’ candidate when there is no contention among the Imo aspirants. Worse still, Imeobi Ohanaeze has neither met nor set up an electoral committee, yet people are talking of Joseph and Pharaoh connections.
“You must not be a ‘Joseph’ known by ‘Pharaoh’ before emerging as the PG of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide. Truth is that Ohanaeze presidency is neither for Joseph no for Pharaoh.”