Key Igbo leaders shun Ohanaeze Elders’ Council meeting in Owerri

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Elders’ Council meeting witnessed a low turnout of key members in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Saturday.

The meeting was convened by the Amb. George Obiozor, a faction of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

Recall that the Engr. Chidi Ibeh-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo had on Friday, described the Elders’ Council meeting at Owerri, Imo State as a desperate plan by a few people to mortgage the collective interests of the Southeast ahead of 2023.

He had also alleged that the meeting was to launch a strategy against the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

Their statement had read: “It has come to our notice that Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, whose tenure had elapsed as Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Elders Council under the tenure of Chief Nnia Nwodo’s tenure (2017-2021) is going against the Ohanaeze constitution and illegally parading himself as chairman.

“It’s unbelievable and contradictory, that Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Governor Hope Uzodinma will join forces with Igbo external detractors to use illegal procedures to score cheap political goals and to appease their paymasters.

“According to Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s constitution, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Chairman of Elders’ Council can never be from the same State, which makes the Owerri purported meeting illegal and unacceptable to Ndigbo. The Elders’ Council meeting cannot hold outside Enugu, which makes the gathering, not of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

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“As a result, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo hereby disown the purported meeting and urge prominent Igbo Elders (illegally invited) not to soil their integrity and reputation by attending an illegitimate gathering and compromised meeting teleguided by Igbo external detractors.

“Elders Council, as an important organ of Ohanaeze Ndigbo cannot be hijacked by desperate politicians to negotiate for Vice Presidential slot on behalf of Southeast and endorse the Uzodinma’s military assaults against IPOB/ESN.”

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Emerging reports from the meeting has now shown that several elders from across the Ohanaeze States were not in attendance.

Out of the five Southeast Governors, only the host, Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, and his counterpart from Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi were said to have been in attendance.

Other governors and most members of the National Assembly also stayed away. There was also a drought of religious and traditional leaders at the event.

Ohanaeze has been facing serious crisis since January when the Chief Nnia Nwodo’s tenure came to an end.

The development snowballed into the factionalization of the Igbo group, with the President-General of each of the groups coming from Imo State.

Governors Uzodinma and Umahi have also made fruitless efforts to reconcile the factions.

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