Crisis is brewing in Igbo apex-socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, following the endorsement of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) by its highest decision-making body, Imeobi, as the National Executive Committee (NEC) has suspended the Secretary General, Uche Okwukwu for alleged anti-organisation activities.
The suspension was announced on Thursday during the NEC meeting of Ohanaeze, shortly before Okwukwu stormed the meeting with over 30 policemen in five Hilux vehicles.
It was gathered that parts of the allegations leveled against the suspended secretary-general, Okwukwu, was hinged on misconduct which included “that he organised a press conference in Nnewi, Anambra State, to contravene the position of Ohaneze on the endorsement of Atiku when he was part of the endorsement, making some spurious allegations against the leadership of the body, going to Aba, Abia State to endorse President Buhari in the name of Ohaneze Ndigbo and joining APC leadership to factionalise the Igbo apex body.”
Ohanaeze stated that the action of Chief Okwukwu smacks of betrayal of his people, noting that he was actually at the meeting at the Nike Lake Restore, where the debate on the endorsement took place, and he did not raise any objections, only for him to go and aligned with desperate politicians in APC who had vowed to mortgage the future of the Igbo nation for their personal gains.
Since the endorsement was announced, there have been reactions from so many quarters, those for and those against, depending on the political lineage.
Some have described the endorsement as suicidal while some said it was in the overall interest of Ndigbo and Igbo direction in the February 6, election.
In his reaction, Okwukwu dismissed his suspension claiming that it was mere political rascality which could be obtained only in students’ union politics.
He said the meeting was not convened in line with the Ohaneze constitution and therefore his suspension was a nullity.
Okwukwu also disclosed that a body of Igbo leaders and concerned personalities had suspended the President-General of Ohaneze, Chief Nnia Nwodo for his rascality and Prince Richard Ozobu had been appointed the President General and Chairman, disciplinary committee.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress, Enugu State council, has declared their support to the Nwodo-led leadership of Ohaneze, while condemning the vacillating statements by Governor Willie Obiano against Ohaneze leadership describing it as unfortunate, coming from an Igbo governor who should know more.
NLC in a statement issued by its political committee, signed by Mr. Ikechukwu Ekere and Dr. Pat Eze, Chairman and Secretary respectively, said: “Ndigbo especially the younger generation should learn how to respect elders which is in tune with our tradition, culture, norms and values of the average Igbo man.
“We vehemently pledge our loyalty and unalloyed support for the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo,” it said.