Nwodo, Madueke, others jostle for Ohanaeze top job

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Indications emerged on Saturday that a former Minister for Information, Nnia Nwodo, and an ex-Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Allison Madueke, are among those seeking the position of President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex socio-political organisation of the Igbo people.

An election has been scheduled for January 10 to choose new leaders of the organisation, following the expiration of the tenure of the Chief Gary Igariwey-led national executive committee.

The leadership succession commenced on January 6 with local government elections in the member states — Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers states.

Elections into the national committee of the group would be held on January 10.

The key positions in the National Executive Committee have been zoned to certain states, in line with the laws of the organisation.

Enugu State would produce the President General. The position of Deputy President General was ceded to Imo State, while Rivers and Abia states were allocated the offices of the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General, respectively.

However, while the Enugu State Government has endorsed Nwodo as its choice for the position of President General, our correspondent learnt that other candidates from the state are also eyeing the office.

Others believed to be in the race for the position include a former Vice-Chancellor of Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Prof Chinweite Ejike, and two senior lawyers, Enechi Onyia( SAN) and Mike Ajogwu (SAN).

Our correspondent also learnt that there are misgivings in some quarters in Enugu State over Nwodo’s endorsement by the government, despite Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s declaration that it was a collective decision of ‘stakeholders’ in the state.

Nwodo, like Ugwuanyi, is from the Nsukka area, in the Enugu-North senatorial zone.

It was gathered that the government’s decision to back Nwodo had not gone down well with the other two senatorial zones, Enugu-West and Enugu-East.

But Ugwuanyi had explained that when he was informed that the position of President General was zoned to Enugu, he called a meeting of the stakeholders of the state, where it was decided that it will, in turn, be zoned to Enugu-North senatorial zone.

According to him, the decision was based on the fact that Enugu-West senatorial district had taken a shot at the post in the past, while Enugu-East senatorial district is currently occupying the leadership position of the state chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

“The choice of Chief Nnia Nwodo for the post of President General of the Ohaneze Ndigbo is the choice of Enugu State, not my personal choice,” the governor had said while announcing the decision to endorse the former minister.

Meanwhile a group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Stakeholders Forum, South-South Region, has raised the alarm over what it described as a plot by some prominent politicians to install candidates in the positions ceded to Delta and Rivers states.

In a statement signed by Amadi Fineman and Wigwe Kindness, Coordinator and Secretary, respectively, the group urged all members and stakeholders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the South-South to resist the alleged plot.

 

Punch

 

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