WHEN SCHOLARS TEND TO ELUCIDATE FALSEHOOD: A CANDID RESPONSE TO CHIEF ALEX CHIEDOZIE OGBONNIA’S POSITION ON PROF. ONYEBADI’S OPEN LETTER
I stumbled on the above write-up by Okosisi n’Ugbo, Ozowalu onaa, former legislator and teacher of egalitarian minds; Chief Alex Chiedozie Ogbonnia in the early hours of this morning.
It was his response to an earlier one done by one Prof. Echefuna Onyebadi on the sidelining of the Anioma people from the mainstream of activities in Igboland.
I can’t but agree with Chief Ogbonnia on many points. But that wouldn’t be before placing the fact before my reading audience that Prof Onyebeadi is a new entrant in Igbo socio-polity and as such should be pardoned for his shortcomings.
This however does not take away the fact that Okosisi ( Chief Alex Chiedozie Ogbonnia) , the immediate past president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu state and current National Publicity Secretary of a faction of the August body has not veiled some mischief and half truths in his reaction.
Those insinuations, I seek to put in clear perspective here.
- On the rotation of offices amongst the seven component states that makes up Ohanaeze Ndigbo; an idea that came up during the reformative era of HRH Igwe Hon. Justice Eze Ozobu, Anioma sons like Col. J.O.G Achuzia, Amb. Raph Uwechue ( both of blessed memory),Chief Ejiofor Onyia , Obi Modestus Emeka Nwaka, Dr Silvan Ebigwei and Chief Emeka Ogwu have served in the elected NEC, notable personalities like late Dr. J.B Azinge ( served as Deputy President-General), while Prof. Pat Utomi and late HRH OBI Prof Chukwumeka Okonjo headed very pivotal committees of the body. Late Dr Joe Orewa , late Amb. SV Okobi, Chief Phillip Enueme and Ogbueshi Ugobeze Amb. Extra ordinary and plenipotentiary Leo Okogwu desired to serve at the NEC at various points. Not forgetting the input of Professors Michael Angulu Onwuejogwu and Nolue Emenanjo in contemporary Igbo history.
Mention must be made of the fatherly roles of Asagba of Asaba HRH Obi Prof Chike Edozien, HRH Obi Emmanuel Efeizomor, the Obi of Owa and late HRH Obi Prof Chike Onwuachi and their noble roles in shaping Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
It will be a mark of great disservice to overlook the role of an Anioma bankroller of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the person of Chief Sunny Iwedike Odogwu ( Ideh Ahaba); who hosted some of the most decisive meetings of Ohanaeze Ndigbo at his magnificent Grand Hotel, Asaba.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo history will not be complete with a mention of a name like Odozi Nwodozi: Pioneer National Vice President of the youth wing and part of the nucleus of young persons that conceived and drove the concept of a day set aside as a memorial for Igbo killed in the various pogroms of the Nigerian state and the immediate past president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the FCT. So also for the energetic immediate past Deputy National Women Leader Chief Lizzy Chiazor.
On the Rivers State side, mention must be made of those men who threw in their all to see to the establishment and consolidation of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Men like Senator Francis Ellah, Eze C. C. Nwuche (Eze Igbu Upata) Chief Emma Aguma, Sen. Obi Wali, Chief Jackson Mpi ( all of blessed memory), not forgetting Engr Isaac Wonwu , Barr. Uche Okwukwu and Prince Igo Oparamma.
- On the issue of the National Woman leader, I wouldn’t believe that any member of the Prof. Obiozor-led faction can take the risk of raising that issue, not after their ignoble visit to Prince Ned Nwoko ( the son-in-law to Rita Daniel) at Idumuje Ugboko, the exchange of US Dollars, and the abridged visit to the Palace of Asagba in Asaba.( My book will expanciate on this). But not without hinting that that singular shameful act has further reduced the prestige of the August body, and ignited a crisis in the Delta State chapter where the state president is currently standing in the rain. Rotation of offices in Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in alphabetical order is a constitutional matter. Abịa produced the first elected Ohanaeze youth leader (Okechukwu Isiguzoro), the next state alphabetically was Anambra (Arthur Obiora). Constitutionally, after Anambra, the next Ohanaeze youth leader ought to come from Anioma, just like in the parent body Ikedife from Anambra handed over to Uwechue from Anioma.
However, after the Dollar inducements Anioma was unconstitutionally jumped and the youth leader allegedly zoned to Ebonyi. This is not surprising because the Obiozor faction, being a product of unconstitutionality, is not new to illegalities and constitutional breaches.
- On the faction in Ohanaeze Ndigbo; it will take only the biased not to acknowledge the fact. From the moment the immediate past administration of Nnia Nwodo chose the path of partisan politicking, the cookies began to crumble. It crystalized on the day Ohanaeze Ndigbo desecrated the Great Zik of Africa ( over a fee) by ambushing Ndigbo to endorse the presidential candidacy of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP on a day the long abandoned mausoleum of the greatest Igbo man was being commissioned. The Igbo ministers’ and governors plea for an adjustment in time was ignored and the shortest Ime-Obi meeting in the annals of Ohanaeze coming to an abrupt end after only thirty minutes immediately Dr Ogbonnaya Onu and Dr Chris Ngige (serving APC ministers) arrived the lobby of Nike lake hotel, the venue of the meeting, after racing all the way from Onitsha.
The crisis was further deepened as the tenure of Nnia Nwodo drew to a close, and a need to shop for a pliable successor made it expedient for them to constitute an electoral Committee that will do their bidding. That move was resisted at the Imeobi meeting of 6th December 2020, resulting in the resignation of the earlier nominated chairman Sen. Ben Obi and his replacement with Prince Gary Igariwey; which really mattered little as the script was still on, though on a lesser scale.
On the FCT Ohanaeze Ndigbo matter, it is clear that the POLITICAL CAMP OF A PARTICULAR NON-IGBO CANDIDATE FOR THE 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION is at work. Sensing that they might not have control of the Obiozor National Ohanaeze faction when the chips are down, they opted to seize the leadership in the FCT to serve as a launching pad for the 2023 presidential election. Unfortunately, Chief John Nnia Nwodo; the most colourful of Ohanaeze Ndigbo PGs fell for the bait.
It should be recalled that a reconciliation committee was constituted in 2018, where is their report?
Why was the chairman of the reconciliation committee Chief Simeon Okeke ( Ochendo) who also was the coordinator of the Northern Igbo for the Atiku Abubakar Campaign in 2019 desperate to transmutate into a caretaker Committee of Ohanaeze FCT instead of presenting and ensuring the implementation of his committee’s report?
Why did they go on to conduct an election against a subsisting court order ?
It should be known that Onwu Arua, who is been prompted by a cabal in Prof. Obiozor’s NEC and 13 others were expelled from Ohanaeze Ndigbo, a decision they challenged in court but lost, as Hon. Justice O.O. Goodluck ( Now of the Appeal Court) upheld their sack….they never appealed.
Anyone expelled from the organization cannot hold any office again.
On the 22nd of July,2021 Honourable Justice O. C. Agbaza delivered a judgement upholding the Byelaws of Ohanaeze Ndigbo FCT Chapter as Amended 2019 as the guiding principles of the body. Consequently, elections were slated for the 11th of August, 2021. Unfortunately, it was stopped by the police on the order of “Obiozor”. This was after one Ambrose Obioha, who parades himself as the Ohanaeze “Administrative Manager”, an office that is alien to the Ohanaeze constitution, failed to get me to discuss with Alex Ogbonnia and one Barr. Aneke ( the Deputy Legal Adviser) against my insistence on discussing with the National Legal Adviser.
On Friday 13th of August, 2021, some members of the FCT Igbo traditional council and Ohanaeze Ndigbo Executive Committee members were briefly detained and forced to sign an undertaking by the FCT police command not to hold Elections.
However, on Friday the 3rd of September,2021, Ohanaeze FCT successfully held her elections in accordance to the Byelaws of Ohanaeze Ndigbo FCT chapter as Amended 2019, and Nze Ifeanyichukwu Obasi-Nweze, Esq emerged as the President and was sworn-in immediately with other 25 members of the Executive Committee.
The court has since issued contempt on Arua and Barr. Aneke petitioned in the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee for conduct debasing the Noble profession.
On the use of Ohanaeze Ndigbo name for commercial purposes, time shall tell those who are in the trade. However, for a peep, may I ask;
Who collected N22m from an Anambra business mogul and current gubernatorial candidate for the execution of Area Council Elections in the FCT and pocketed same?
Who collected over N500m from a presidential candidate in 2019 for mobilisation of Ndigbo in the north in 2019, and disbursed less than N200m?
Who has collected some money presently from a northern presidential candidate to commence mobilisation of Ndigbo in the North, starting with hijacking of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and IDA structures?
Can the Igbo promoters of a Fulani President for 2023 point to 100 Igbo persons they empowered with jobs in their 16 years in power? If yes, we can show them 200 persons that got Federal Government jobs in our administration.
All they did was to get board appointments for themselves, their children and cronies; some which ended up in jail while trying to meet up with their gluttonous desires.
Can anyone point out one place myself or any member of my Executive submitted our CV, or applied for contracts?
Infact, we have enshrined it in our byelaws that the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo FCT Chapter, shall not accept any appointments while in office.
Ndigbo, we should beware of those we call “leaders” at a time like this. Men who profess “IGBO PRESIDENCY” in the day while at night they are working for the emergence of a Fulani candidate.
- On the mischievous statement of Chief Nnia Nwodo at the appointment of Gen. LEO Irabor as Chief of Defence staff, anyone labouring to reshape it is embarking on an exercise in futility as the import of that statement was well gotten. The damage control did by Prof. Obiozor which was prompted by the Obajis did a little in mitigating that unfortunate blunder. Besides, Nwodo never apologized or retracted that statement, till date.
Just as Nwodo’s selfish quest for ADADA STATE over ABA State, which was recommended by his NEC denied Ndigbo a sixth state.
As regards the identity crisis of the Igbo of Anioma, Chief Ogbonnia and his co-travellers should know the nature of people on the margins, especially where a war has been fought. The Austro-German, Swiss, European Jews and others too numerous to mention are ethnic nationalities that struggled to deny their identity before, during and after the 2nd World War. The case of the Anioma Igbo, just like the Ikwerre, Etche, and others located in Edo, Benue, Kogi, Cross River, and Akwa-Ibom is that of a people suffering from post Biafra defeat. But that should not rob us of our quality contributions in Biafra, both in the military and diplomatic fronts.
Remember that while Cols. Achuzia, Okwechime, and Anuku (Biafran Naval Commander) remain some of the brightest stars in the Biafra military firmament, it was Amb. Raph Uwechue that got for Biafra the French recognition. His counterparts in Britain and Russia who were Igbo or Igbo in-laws were still undecided.
No South East town paid the price of the war like us. There were genocides in Agbor, Umunede, Igbodo, Ishiagu and ultimately Asaba.
Our Blood is still flowing on the Niger.
Let me rest here.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo FCT Chapter