REACTIONS ON THE NEW OHANEZE NDIGBO LEADERSHIP
Reactions have continued to trail the emergence of Chief Nnia Nwodo as the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, alongside other newly elected members of the apex pan Igbo socio-cultural organisation.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, described the former Minister of Information, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, as a cerebral intellectual with well established contacts across Nigeria and beyond.
Senator Ekweremadu, who commended Ohanaeze for a rancour-free election, also encouraged the new officers to run an all-inclusive administration that would accommodate and utilizes the capacities of those who contested against them.
He equally congratulated the newly elected executive of the Enugu State chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Mr. Alex Ogbonnia.
The Deputy President of the Senate also described Mr. Ogbonnia as a capable hand and social mobiliser, urging him to further boost the presence, scope, and efforts of Ohanaeze in Enugu State.
In an interview with Radio Nigeria Enugu zone, the Director General, Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okechukwu welcomed the choice of Chief Nwodo and expressed the belief that he would use his versatile knowledge in leadership to move the organization and Ndi Igbo in general to a greater height.
According to Mr. Osita Okechukwu “the Nnia Nwodo executive is a holistic pack that has a good synergy that we have with the governors and luckily he is also very close to Mr. President. He had worked with Mr. President in the past. He was with us in the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party and was with us until recently. So he knows President Mohammadu Buhari and President Buhari knows him very well. So I think Nwodo is going to work well with the governors and the President.”
A foremost educationist, Professor Lawrence Ocho who applauded the successful conduct of the poll, implored the new executive of Ohaneze to keep to the promises they made during their campaigns.
“I think the election was very fair and the Igbos are going to be better for it. And the rest elections were all peaceful. I expect the elected to work according to the promises they made to the electorate. They all appear to me as men of integrity. So we are expecting the best from them.”
The National Youth Leader Ohaneze Ndigbo, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro expressed thehope that the new leadership of the group would restore the confidence of Igbos in the Pan-Igbo organisation.
Mazi Isiguzoro advised the new executive members to address squarely issues affecting the peace and progress of Ndigbo in the country.
He suggested that the incoming administration “must project the interest of Ndigo above their personal interest and also that Ndigbo look up to Ohaneze Ndigbo to salvage the situation in Nigeria today. I so much believe that the President-General, highly respected elder statesman, Chief Nnia John Nwodo, should try to make sure that all Igbo businessmen in this world should have their headquarters in Igboland.”
Similarly, the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha has congratulated the former Minister of Information, Chief Nnia Nwodo on his election as the President-General Ohaneze Ndigbo.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, the Governor noted that the delegates to the election and Ndigbo in general had made a wise choice in the person of Chief Nwodo.
He also felicitated with a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hilary Opara and Chief Uche Okwuchukwu on their elections as the Deputy National President and Secretary-General of the Igbo apex organization.
Governor Okorocha urged the new Executive of Ohaneze to bring their experience to bear in piloting the activities of the body to accelerate the development of the both the region and the nation.
While assuring the cooperation of South East Governors, chief Okorocha stressed the need for unity among Ndigbo.
The Governor commended Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Senator Ken Nnamani, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe and other leaders who ensured the success of the election.
Radio Nigeria correspondent, Blessing Ede reported that four out of seventeen positions were contested, while the rest were unopposed.
The four positions were, the post of President-General, Vice President-General, Secretary-General, and Treasurer.
Chief Nnia Nwodo emerged winner with two hundred and forty-two votes while his opponent Professor Chiwenite Ejike got thirteen votes.
The post of Secretary General which was zoned to Rivers State went to Mr. Uche Okwukwu who got one hundred and sixty-six votes to beat his opponent, Chief Isaac Wonwu who scored sixty-three votes.
In his acceptance speech, the New President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo who spoke in Igbo said he was overwhelmed by the outcome of the election and promised to take Ndigbo to a greater height.
Giving a Valedictory Speech, the out-gone President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Gari Enwo-Igariwey expressed happiness that the group was not only getting stronger but more support from the Igbo Governors.
Chief Enwo-Igariwey advised the New Executive to continue to work for the progress of Ndigbo all over the World.
Just as the Chairman National Electoral Committee of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Professor Anya O. Anya called on the new executive to be prepared to take Igbos to their prestigious positions by restoring Igbo values and culture.
By Blessing Ede