The Apex body of Igbo worldwide, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has distance itself from rumors alleging that the group is canvassing for the Ebonyi state Governor, Dave Umahi for his ambitions as Senate President.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Dr. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, described the act as reckless and mischievous, urging the public to disregard such publications.
The group however noted that it does not oppose lofty ambitions of individuals, but described the “illegitimate use of the hallowed name of Ohanaeze Ndigbo as anathematic and reprehensible.”
The group also restated that it has ample evidence that the Labour party presidential candidate, Peter Obi won the just concluded presidential election and expressed confidence in the judiciary in ensuring justice for Nigerians.
The statement reads:
The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to the reckless and mischievous publication making the rounds that “Ohanaeze Ndigbo canvasses for Umahi’s Senate Presidency”.
The press statement issued by Mazi Okechuwu Isiguzoro, using the name of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, touted that the “Senate president in this dispensation should emerge from the South East of Nigeria”.
A few weeks ago, it was “Ohanaeze Ndigbo congratulates Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”. Two days ago, it was “Ohanaeze Ndigbo collects $400,000 from Wike” etc
“Since the Ohanaeze election which was held on January 10, 2021, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has consistently reminded the general public that the Secretary General of the body is Ambassador Okey Emuchay, MFR and that publications of any kind coming from Isiguzoro should be ignored.
We have deployed several means available including reaching out to the traditional ruler of Isiguzoro community for him to desist from the damages he causes to the image of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, to no avail.”
However, respite finally came on Friday, March 10, 2023 with a court order by Justice Uchenna Mogbo of the High Court of Enugu State, stopping the Chidi Ibeh-led factional leadership from parading themselves as true representatives of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Justice Mogbo further declared that the “purported parallel election of the officers of the National Executive Council (NEC) of Ohanaeze conducted in Enugu State at the instance of the defendants is illegal and un-constitutional”.
The suit listed “Chidi Ibeh, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Prince Richard Ozobu, and Nnabuike Okwu, as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and fourth defendants”.
Ohanaeze was tempted to ignore the publication making the rounds on “canvassing for senate presidency” but since silence may be misconstrued as giving validity to such a whimsical figment of a transactional imagination, this prompt rebuttal becomes very imperative.
For the avoidance of doubt, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has sufficient evidence to prove that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi won the presidential election that was conducted on Saturday, February 25, 2023.
We also have the supreme confidence that the unfolding events at various levels will surely vindicate the just.
“It is therefore a huge embarrassment that while the Afenifere, the PANDEF, the Middle Belt, the Arewa, the long oppressed Nigerian youths, the international community, etc are very busy, working hard for the enthronement of social justice, equity and good governance in Nigeria and to pluck the low hanging fruit, a meddlesome interloper will present Ohanaeze Ndigbo as a group without a focus on the ball and a sell out to the irrepressible Obi-Datti Movement.
Let it be known that Ohanaeze does not antagonize the lofty ambition or the aspiration of anybody, but the illegitimate use of the hallowed name of Ohanaeze Ndigbo is both anathematic and reprehensible.”