OHANAEZE:THE PEACE AND RECONCILIATION THAT NDIGBO DESIRE
By Eberechukwu Aladinma
A Peace and Reconciliation Committee has recently been set up by Prof Obiozor, the presumed winner of an enormously flawed Ohanaeze election held in Owerri on January 10, 2021.
The act by Prof Obiozor in setting up a Peace and Reconciliation Comittee, confirms his recognition of the flawed nature of the Owerri Ohanaeze election.
Against advise from well meaning Imeobi members, the past leadership and the Ohanaeze electoral committee, rushed through a 5-day period to conduct an election that was at variance with past Ohanaeze elections. The result today, is the destabilization of Ndiigbo through its apex socio-economic association. In addition, the consequences of the disappearance of the Ohanaeze rallying platform for groups and individuals from Alaigbo, including but not limited to politicians and political leaders, is manifesting in the lack of cohesion and unity of purpose.
The Ohanaeze of the past as we knew it had accepted leaders and true follower-ship. Ohanaeze played critical roles in planning and guiding Ndiigbo as well as resolving conflicts between Igbo leaders, Igbo groups and individuals.
How can an individual who is at the centre of a controversy set up a committee, be the number one name and his Secretary-General be number two on their list, on a matter in which they are the main subjects. A case of sitting in judgement over their case.
It is said that justice should not only be done but seen to be done. What do we expect from a committee comprising of the Chairman, Secretary and numerous members of the Ohanaeze Electoral Committee who plotted and carried out a mission that thwarted the will of Ndiigbo. Is it out of place to accord Ndiigbo some respect and credit them with more intelligence ?
This avoidable, current situation, was foreseen by some of our discerning leaders and committed patriots. It brings to question the concept, objectives and expectations of such a committee comprising of those who created our current problem and embarrrassment. The people who have gone against the very essence of Igbo existence , hurt their pride and inflicted pain on them are sitting judgement over the problem they created. The committee members are Igbos and they know that Ndigbo will never accept their role as peace makers and agents of reconciliation. Everyone of them should search his or her conscience and take the back seat.
One group that is thankfully universally respected, trusted and accepted Is the leadership of the Church. Happily a group of patriots and committed Igbo leaders known as Concerned Imeobi Members approached the Body of Archbishops and Bishops of Igbo extraction who have come to the rescue. We are pleased that they have held their inaugural meeting. Ndi Igbo believe in them, have faith in their ability to identify and stand by the truth.
Members of the Peace Committee include, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, The Most Reverend Valerian Okeke, Methodist Archbishop of Enugu, the Most Reverend Christopher Ede, Most Reverend Alex Ibezim,Anglican Archbishop of Niger,Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Rt Reverend Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, Most Reverend Chijioke Nwaobia,Anglican Archbishop of Aba Province,Most Reverend David Onuoha,Anglican Archbishop of Owerri Province ,Rt Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor,Catholic Bishop of Awka,Most Reverend S. I. O. Agwu,Methodist Archbishop of Port Harcourt,Most Reverend Maxwell Anikwenwa.
Others are Bishop Obi Onubogu, Rock Family Church, and Most Reverend Uma Onwunta, Principal Clerk Emeritus Presbyterian Church, Nigeria.
Some Members of the Concerned Imeobi are the Chairman, Elder Uma Eleazu, the Co-ordinator, Engr. Chris Okoye, the Secretary, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, Okwadike Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Prof. (Ven) Chinedu Nebo, Elder Nduka Eya, Elder K. U. Kalu, Prof Ihechukwu Madubuike, Prof Elo Amucheazi, Amb. Kema Chikwe, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, Justice B. A. Njemanze, Amb. Ogbonna Aja-Nwachukwu and Prof. Pat Utomi.
Prof George Obiozor is an Igbo elder and it is assumed he knows the expectations from a bona fide elder onye Igbo. His actions and inactions will confirm to us if he is indeed a true son of Igboland that sucked milk from the breast of an Igbo mother.
They should be reminded that there is a new face of the Igbo. The Igbo that cannot be intimidated or frightened but law abiding, intelligent, enterprising, upbeat, proud and patriotic. It is now 51 years since the civil war ended. Our 51 year olds are asking questions about what happened to their glorious past. The Igbo society that was the envy of all. The Igbo society that encouraged healthy competition, fair play, truth, justice and equity. Today’s Igbo want to redeem, to restore and to move into the 21st century, boldly. Take a look around the world, we are a part of the group of elite doing wonders in every endeavor. Look at Chimamanda Adichie in literature, Ogbuagu in the COVID -19 vaccine research and production. Our doctors, pharmacists, scientists, artists, engineers, politicians, computer whiz kids, business men and women and professionals doing great things, worldwide. That’s what we want to replicate in our homeland.
With God on our side no one can stand in our way. It is IGBO INTEREST all the way. To the products of the Owerri January 10 project who may not have directly created unintended consequences, affecting us, I urge you to show that you love Alaigbo and Ndiigbo.
Let’s do the right thing to bring back peace, unity and progress to our homeland. We should all submit to God through His workers on earth, especially the Peace Committee.
Eberechukwu Aladinma writes from Owerri