By Johnpaul Anih, 16 – 11 – 2020
Less than two months to its National Election, an air of discontent may have enveloped the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, following alleged subtle moves by governors in the South East zone to take over the leadership of the body.
Our correspondent gathered that activities of the outgoing Chief Nnia Nwodo-led leadership might have prepared the ground for eventual takeover of the group by the governors next January.
Credence to the move came to the fore last Thursday during the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the association where the state chief executives allegedly nominated two members each into the yet-to-be inaugurated electoral committee preparatory to the January exit date.
A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stated that implication of flooding the panel with nominees of state governments meant that “the governors will be the ones that will nominate those who will occupy the positions allocated to the states in line with the rotational principles in the organisation.”
He added that the voting delegates would be selected according to political leanings.
His words: “It means that those who will vote from Anambra State will be All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) members that will be nominated by the governor and that means, unless you are an APGA member, you will not vote from Anambra. It means that unless you are a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), you will not vote from Imo State, because there is no way anybody from PDP can vote from Imo State. That will also be the same situation with other people from other political parties from Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi, because, it will be only PDP members that will vote there. It will now be Ohanaeze of all political parties. This will certainly mar Ohanaeze Ndigbo
“In that regard also, candidates will be nominated along party lines. This is not the intendment of Ohanaeze Ndigbo by our forebears. We wanted an organisation that is apolitical and should speak confidently in the interest of Ndigbo. Although, we receive funding from the governors, that does not mean that they should now determine how the organisation is run.”
He disclosed that the development might kill the organisation, as according to him, “some other people may decide not to participate in the election because it is going to be a charade. We are already battling with splinter groups here and there, but this one will worsen things if it is allowed to continue. It will also pose a serious challenge to our programme in 2023.”