[From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia]
After maintaining a stiff opposition to the candidacy of Prof. George Obiozor and vehemently faulting every step of the 2021 Ohaneze electoral process, the Igboayaka O. Igboayaka-led Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC) has made U-turn, throwing its weight behind Obiozor as the new President of Ohaneze Ndigbo.
OYC’s new posturing is contained in a Communiqué issued in Owerri after its meeting of January 11, 2021 in Owerri, Imo State, citing an peace deal the group allegedly signed with the new Ohaneze helmsman, Obiozor.
Prior to the election, OYC, through a series of Press Statements, had raised hell, vowing to resist the emergence of Obiozor, describing him as a “Caliphate candidate.”
“The choice to foist Prof. George Obiozor on Ndigbo does not meet the existing electoral provision of the body. The influence of the Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, in the shenanigans constituted Elders Council led by Engr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu summarizes the skepticism of Ndigbo that Ohanaeze Ndigbo will be a sub-branch of caliphate,” OYC said in a November 22, 2020 statement.
Initially, OYC described the choice of Obiozor by Imo State Government as nepotism because he (Obiozor) hails from the same Oru East local government area with Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma.
OYC went ahead to warn South-East Governors to stay clear from the Ohanaeze Ndigbo electoral process, cease to impose their candidate on Ndigbo and jettison all the plans to rig the election, just as it accused the out-gone President, Dr. Nnia Nwodo, of acting in concert with the governors because of “his greed and political desperation to sell Ohanaeze Ndigbo to South East governors.”
OYC, on January 5, 2021, added that “Nwodo was gambling with the upcoming Ohanaeze Ndigbo election and has soiled the little reputation he had in the past,” noting that “he was the first President of Ohanaeze that contravened four different constitutional provisions of the organization which are Article 11, Article 10, Article 14 and Article 21.”
OYC also maintained that “Nwodo have murdered sleep by accepting the list given to him by Governors Nyesom Wike, Hope Uzodinma, Okezie Ikpeazu and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to form the election committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo for 2021 election, even after the rejection of the list by many Igbo groups such as Alaigbo Development Foundation(ADF) and others.”
As a result, OYC held that “all the meetings of National Executive Committee, Ime-Obi and General Assembly that was not summoned through Barr. Uche Okwukwu, the secretary General vis-a-vis Article 11, paragraph 8, page 14 were null and void.”
However, after the emergence of Obiozor in the January 10, 2021 election, OYC made a summersault and quickly pledged its support to Obiozor, vowing to do battle with anyone or group that opposes the new leader of the Igbo apex socio-cultural group.
In the January 11, 2021, 12-point Communiqué endorsed a seven-member Communiqué Drafting Committee, OYC explained that it changed its strident opposition to Obiozor “after after a critical deliberation over the emergence of Prof. George Obiozor as the new President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo” by the National Working Committee of Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) at her meeting held in Owerri.
“Dialogue and negotiation have been the only workable instrument to maintain peace and order when there is crisis at any point in time in life; therefore the peace agreement document signed between Prof. George Obiozor and Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), the apex socio-cultural youth body of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has proved all the political blackmail against Prof. George Obiozor that he would not serve the interest of Ndigbo to nothingness,” OYC said.
The document which was made available to The Oracle Today via electronic mail, and endorsed by Chairman of the Communiqué Drafting Committee, Prophet Nwaokoro Felix Alagbaoso, the Secretary, Comrade Obiya Sabastine, and National President of OYC, Comrade Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, among others, stated that:
“Prof. George Obiozor, have adopted and accepted to pursue the 10-point economic agenda of Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), in collaboration with Governors of Igbo extraction, National Assembly members of Igbo extraction and President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, the following economic development in Alaigbo:
“Functional Seaport in Igboland; functional Cargo International Airport; connecting Alaigbo to functional Modern Railway; connecting Alaigbo to National Electric Grid; connecting Alaigbo with Industrial Gas Pipeline; construction of Otuocha-Nmiata Kogi Federal Road by Extension to Abuja; pursue the call for Restructuring by Ndigbo and Nigerians at Large, Igbo Youths Empowerment Scheme through Ohanaeze Youth Council Multi-Purpose Cooperative; establishment of Igbo Communities Scholarship Board and cultural revolution, which targets at modernizing Igbo culture to be in tune with contemporary society.”
OYC expressed optimism that if the above goals are actualized, “a new, prosperous Igbo nation,” would emerge.
The group therefore, insisted that “anyone fighting Prof. Obiozor is fighting Ndigbo and must be seen and treated as an enemy of Ndigbo,” if the new Ohaneze leader achieves the goals it has set out for him.
It therefore urged Senator Rochas Okorocha, the Christian Association of Nigeria, amongst others, to join forces with Obiozor for the progress of Ndigbo.
OYC rather advised “all the aggrieved individual or group on the outcome of the election of Ohanaeze Ndigbo should articulate their proposals on how to make Alaigbo economically viable and great and submit to Prof. George Obiozor who has accepted to unify Ndigbo for economic purpose.”