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Ohanaeze Scolds Kanu, IPOB Over Anambra Gubernatorial Election, Says IPOB Overheating Polity

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..Says group overheating polity

 From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday came hard on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, with a warning to desist from actions capable of heating up the polity.

Ohanaeze, which spoke against the group’s call for a boycott of Anambra election stated that IPOB and Kanu have no right to stop the Anambra governorship election slated to hold on November 18.

This came just as Governor Willie Obiano, commended Ohanaeze’s new leadership for showing great commitment to the Igbo cause.

Obiano said the state government would continue to do everything to support Ohanaeze in protecting Igbo interest.

The governor spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Legislative Matters, Chief Chiedozie Ezeugwa, when President-General of Ohanaeze,  Chief John Nnia Nwodo and his executive members visited Anambra State House of Assembly, yesterday.

Nwodo, who addressed members of the state Assembly at the Legislative Complex, Awka, expressed sadness that Kanu had breached the undertaking he took before him (Nwodo) and Ohanaeze when he (Kanu) visited him after his release from detention.

Nwodo said as a father, “the way I commended them as my children, is the way I have the right to chastise them when they go wrong. We don’t need this heat up.”

The Ohanaeze leader, who disclosed that the visit was part of the body’s sensitisation in the South-East region following the recent Arewa youth threat, stated that Anambra and indeed Igbo are Nigerians.

“News that reached us in the past few days that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB has declared that there will be no election in Anambra in November is shocking and disturbing. I, hereby countermand that declaration as President General of Ohanaeze.

“Whereas Ohanaeze understands the marginalisation and unfair treatment of Igbo which have given rise to self-determination movements in Igboland, leaders of these movements must not arrogate to themselves the supreme leadership of Igboland. 

“Statements of the kind credited to Kanu are provocative, misleading and unproductive. Why should Anambra people be denied the opportunity to choose their own leader?. Why should any of us who are not from Anambra, no matter how highly placed, descend to the arena and dictate for Anambra people when to vote, whether to vote or who to vote for?

“Anambra, nay Igbo, are still part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Yes, we are not happy with our treatment in Nigeria. Yes, some of us want Biafra. Yes, some of us prefer a restructuring.

“But the fact remains that we are still part and parcel of the present Federal Republic of Nigeria, bound by its laws, no matter how repressive or unjust.

“Our approach to reforms of our laws, even if it leads to self-determination or restructuring must be lawful. We must convince other Nigerians of our point of view, we must strive to make others share our convictions.”
“Our language must be civil, respectful and lead to consensus building. We must resist any attempt to turn division amongst us,’’ he warned. 

, as to which way we must go, become a source of altercations between us.

 

“As we speak, very many of our people living in Northern Nigeria are in complete awe and consternation regarding how safe they will be after October 1st. Other Northerners living amongst us are also worried.

 

 “The Inspector General of Police has taken public notice of Nnamdi’s comments inviting a possible invasion of Anambra by the Nigerian Police, increasing the already existing siege of our people which can lead to daily extortion on our highways. All these developments have arisen out of unguarded utterances.

 

“I find no venue more suited for the statements I make here. Every constituent part of Anambra is represented here. I believe that the honourable members here are competent enough to carry the Ohaneze message to every nook and cranny of Anambra State.”

 Nwodo also commended Anambra State saying, “we are happy with the peace that exists here. We are happy with the steady progress Anambra has registered over the years. The next election can only improve not retard it.”

 Speaker of Anambra Assembly, Rita Maduagwu and the former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, called on Igbo to avoid being divided in whatever cause they would pursue in the prevailing circumstance.

 Maduagwu assured that the House would give support to Ohanaeze as it had stood behind the state government, adding that Ohanaeze Ndigbo is in support of the referendum and was not preaching hate, but peace and noted that the state Assembly would move on sensitisation drive in the state over the matter.

 Chief Umeh noted that it was the first time Ohanaeze Ndigbo had elected people who could represent Igbo without fear, adding that because of bad leadership, people outside had been making a jest of Igbo.

According to Umeh “it is only the people who do not have Igbo blood in them that will allow anybody to tell them what goes on in the society today, this current Ohanaeze, under Nwodo is making Igbo proud.”  (The Sun)

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Nigeria’s Political System Unfair, Unsustainable, Says Nwodo (Ohanaeze PG)

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Ohanaeze Ndigbo

Fidelis Soriwei, Abuja

The President General of the Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has said the current Nigeria’s political structure  is unfair, exploitative and unsustainable.

Nwodo said Nigeria’s future was bleak and could only be salvaged by sincere deliberations among the people.

The Ohanaeze leader made the comment at a national discourse to mark the 90th birthday of the Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, in Abuja on Thursday.

He stated, “Our political system is jaundiced, unfair, exploitative and unsustainable. Since attainment of independence, the civilians have not been able to agree on a political structure. Our present constitution and the previous 1979 constitution were impositions of the military – an unrepresentative and dictatorial corps whose decrees were seriously influenced by the lop-sidedness of their composition.

“The economic and development data from Nigeria is not encouraging in many sectors. Our law and order system including the police, the court system and the penal system have been characterised by impunity, incompetence and indiscipline.”

Nwodo said bad leadership, corruption, law and order, resource control and true federalism deserved a timely attention and should even be more worrisome to the younger ones who must realise that the next 50 years could be more challenging.

He believed the best way to manage the structure of the country rest on dialogue.

“We have, for too long, allowed the bitterness of the war and its lingering feelings to dictate our political relationships. The coalition that fought the war is still in control of Nigeria, engaging in rhetorics that fuelled the war in managing renascent Nigeria. The young men and women who were not part of the war are frustrated by this impasse.

“The future is bleak unless Nigerians come to the table to discuss Nigeria truthfully,” Nwodo stated.

In his contribution, the National Publicity Secretary of Pan Yoruba group, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said opponents of restructuring of the country were only out to continue reaping where they did not sow.

He explained that the constituent parts had the opportunity of embarking on mass education, creating more employment opportunities, exploit the opportunity of the vast land available to them to create wealth rather than the dependence on the Federal Government.

“Those who oppose restructuring want to continue to reap where they did not sow; educate your population, employ and task them to make more money, cultivate the landmass you have to get more money rather than running to Abuja. If we restructure, Nigeria has the potential to be a N60tn economy,” he added.

A former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, who presented the main paper, said the call for restructuring was in consonance with the terms of the negotiation of independence.  (Punchng.com)

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Ohanaeze Slams FG Over Exclusion Of South East In Railway Projects

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President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Nnia Nwodo

By Emeka Mamah
 
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has frowned at the exclusion of the South East in the Federal Government’s modernisation policy of railway projects in the country, describing the action as the height of injustice against Ndigbo.
 
It’s President, Dr Nwodo spoke against the backdrop of the recent exclusion of the Eastern Rail line in President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter to the National Assembly, seeking its approval to borrow about $5. 185 billion (about N2.074 trillion) from China’s Exim Bank.
 
Stressing that the Buhari- led government was unfair to Ndigbo, Nwodo said, “The letter to the National Assembly is a reminder and extension of the political marginalisation and even exclusion of the South East. The major railway projects by the Federal Government are the Lagos-Ibadan-Kano modernisation (standard gauge) rail line and the Lagos- Ibadan segment is already ongoing at the cost of $1.231 billion.
 
“The Lagos- Kano modernisation rail project, has the Kano-Kaduna segment alone costing $1.146 billion while the Lagos-Calabar standard coastal line will gulp $3.474 billion. The mention in the said letter that the next set of rail development would take care of the South East is not worth a pinch of salt and, therefore, unacceptable to Ndigbo.
 
The exclusion of the South East is in clear breach of the Federal Character Principle as captured in Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution which provides that the conduct of the affairs of the Federal Government shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity and also to command national loyalty.
 
“Importantly, these railway projects are all funded by loans payable by every part of Nigeria. At this rate, therefore, the present and future generations of Ndigbo will end up paying for loans they did not benefit from. Although a N64 billion contract was awarded to a Chinese firm in 2011 for the rehabilitation of the Eastern Rail Line, it is still the old gauge, not a modern/standard gauge and not making any reasonable progress. “Besides, only a concession for the provision of goods coaches to run on the rehabilitated old gauge was given to General Electric, GE, and there is no plan for standard gauge or passenger traffic on this line.
 
Ohanaeze Ndigbo wishes to call the attention of the Federal Government and members of the National Assembly to this large-scale injustice, as these actions fuel restiveness and quests for independent sovereign states in parts of the country. “We call on the lawmakers, leaders and civil society from this region to mobilise their colleagues and compatriots who believe in the unity and equitable development of the country to vote against this injustice.”  

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New Ohanaeze PG Applauds South-East Governors For New Found Energy

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Ohanaeze President General, Dr John Nnia Nwodo

 

The President General of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has applauded the new found synergy and solidarity between governors of the South-East.

Nwodo told newsmen at the meeting of the South-East Governors’ Forum in Enugu on Sunday that the resurgence of the solidarity was the needed elixir for regional integration.

He said that the meeting of the governors, which was the first of its kind since the 2015 general elections, was in fulfilment of the promise made by Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo.

“I came to congratulate them for their synergy and their new found solidarity and the resurgence of that solidarity.

“I have promised that whatever misgivings they have between them is a storm in the teacup and is grossly exaggerated and you can see that happening now,” he said.

Nwodo said that there was apprehension for some time because the governors had not met in a long while, adding that they were back to business.

“The headquarters of Ohaneze is in Enugu and it is only courteous that as the president general, I should come and greet them and brief them about our activities as well as wish them well in their deliberations.

“All five of them are here. Nobody is represented by the deputy. They are in serious deliberation and I am grateful to God that this is happening,” he said.

Nwodo said that the governors from the zone had not been divided as widely speculated but had difficulty in meeting for a long time.

“I am infused that within two months of my coming into office they are back on the saddle, united and in total solidarity addressing the problems affecting us as a geographical region,” Nwodo said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi was elected Chairman of the forum at the meeting.

NAN

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Ohanaeze Condemns Killing Of MASSOB, IPOB Members |The Republican News

From Chris Anucha, Port,  Harcourt

The Apex social-political organisation in Igbo land, Ohanaeze has condemned the killing  and  maltreatment  of  members  of   the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of  the  Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB)  by  Federal Government agencies.

The group also   called  for  a  true  fiscal federalism, saying  it  is  the only way to  solve  Nigeria’s political problems.

Briefing  newsmen in Port  Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, the President-General of  Ohanaeze, Chief  John  Nwodo  recalled  how  members of  the two agitating  groups  were killed  in  Anambra, Asaba, Aba and Port Harcourt, among others, and   some of  the victims  thrown  into the river.

According to him,   security  agencies  have  refused  to  release bodies of  killed IPOB and MASSOB  members  to  their respective  families.

Nwodo wondered why  members of IPOB and MASSOB  are  maltreated by security agencies, unlike members of  Boko  Haram, Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) and  Avengers, among others.

He said Federal Government’s  continuous   maltreatment  of  IPOB and MASSOB m embers  would   only  end up making  Biafra inevitable.

Nwodo  was  in Port  Harcourt   to  meet  with   the Igbo living  in the state  and   to pay  a  courtesy  visit  to Governor Nyesom Wike. He  said anything short of true federalism, where federating units are given a level of independence to  develop at  their own pace and contribute their quota to the centre would make the political crisis in Nigeria to linger.

He lamented  the   marginalisation of   South East and South-South in the areas of  political appointments, as well as  occupying  key positions in   the  security agencies. According to the President-General, the federal character principle has been grossly violated   in  favour  of  a section of the  country, noting that the Igbo   are  also qualified  to occupy key and sensitive positions  in the country.

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo boss insisted that Nigerians should write their own constitution, as against   the current  one  written by the  military.

 “Today, under this makeshift federation, people are grumbling. We call for fiscal freedom in Nigeria for things to move forward,” Nwodo said.

He, however,  urged the Igbo to bring back their wealth and invest at home, to give the youths hope and sense of belonging. He also  lauded IPOB and MASSOB for going  about their  agitation peacefully.

,  pointing  out that despite the high level of insurgency in the North, no insurgent has been charged of treason or detained.

“What the Federal Government is doing is unfair, unfriendly and unusual. I, therefore, call on the northern elite to speak up against this unfair treatment meted out against the South. Time has come for the negotiation of the Nigerian federation and there is no going back.

“Some have declared war on the Nigerian state tearing our national flag to shreds and planting their own while embarking on mass killing of  our nationals and they are not arrested or detained. Others from the Niger Delta break pipelines and kill people and are rather called for negotiation and dialogue but for the  Biafran agitators, they are killed even when they are holding lawful meetings,” he  said.

 The organisation,  whose  new Executive  was elected on January  10, 2017 and  led by Chief John Nnia Nwodo,  had earlier visited Lagos and Abuja,  two cities that have largest Igbo  population outside the seven Igbo dominated states. The states include,  Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu , Imo and Rivers.

Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has insisted that it wants Biafra restoration and not Igbo presidency as agitated in some quarters.

The group noted that any Igbo man or woman that presents him or herself as a presidential candidate of any party will become an object of public ridicule. It added that it no longer talks about the Igbo alone, but Biafrans beyond the Igbo speaking parts of the South East and South South.

The Head of Directorate of State (DOS) of IPOB, Mr. Uchenna Asiegbu, in a statement yesterday, warned Igbo politicians who were going round seeking support for either 2019 or 2023 presidency to desist from it or be ready to face the music.

“We are aware that some Igbo politicians are working tirelessly to impose their master in Abuja on our people, by defending Muhammadu Buhari. They say his administration loves and favours our people, we are not worried because they are defending their office and the little crumbs they are getting from Abuja.

“Therefore, we warn those calling for a president from Igbo extraction to beware because Biafra is at the corner and we are not interested. The Igbo elite have disappointed the entire race since after the civil war.

“Very soon, those saddled with the attitude of a governor and a minister will no longer be considered serious players or relevant in the scheme of unfolding events that actually matter in the lives of our people.

“There will be no election in Biafraland, not just in Igbo speaking territories but all across Biafraland in 2019 because enough of the same old, discredited, washed out and corrupt individuals recycling themselves in political office year after year with nothing to show for it.

“Biafra is on the verge of being restored and we won’t trade it for anything in the world, not even an Igbo presidency of the United States of America. Very soon, the world will understand how serious we are about Biafra. People should relax and watch events as they unfold,” Asiegbu declared.

Meanwhile, a faction of the pro-Biafran group known as  Customary Government of the Indigenous People of Biafra (CG-IPOB)  has disassociated itself from the statement credited to Emma Powerful that IPOB would never be part of Nigeria politics and cannot support Anambra State election. 

The group, in a statement signed by its Director of Information,  Ndubuisi Anaenugwu in Onitsha yesterday said  it has increasingly become necessary to reiterate that IPOB stands for ‘Indigenous People of Biafra, and there are about 70,000,000 of these indigenous Biafrans living everywhere across the globe.

 “All of these people are referred to as indigenous persons of Biafra. The public should, however, note that the IPOB being referred to by Emma Powerful are people who pay allegiance to a company called IPOB Limited, registered in the UK.

 The Customary Government of IPOB being administered by Anthony Aniebue under the leadership of Retd Justice Eze Ozobu and Dr Ikedife has been in the Federal High Court, Owerri with the government since 2012 and the case is still progressing with positive results.

 “But the whole world will understand how massive IPOB is and the yearning of ordinary people for freedom before 2019”.

“These Igbo political contractors parading themselves as some sort of an elite, are endlessly strategising on new supposedly beneficial political permutations to no avail”.

“Every one of these politicians always have one spectacular move or strategic maneuver that will turn the Igbo fortune around but in the end nothing ever materialises. Same old Abuja slaves, same old story, so there is nothing new for us to reckoned with”

“As the British would say, “no brainer”. Thereby warn Biafrans choosing president  of Nigeria from Igbo extraction is like taking purgatory than heaven, darkness than light, hope than despair. We are IPOB, we exist solely for Biafra restoration, nothing more nothing less. Igbo presidency would not solve anything, instead it would make matters worse”.

“Even the Goodluck Jonathan administration was considered more beneficial to the North than any part of Biafraland. Jonathan did not complete one major landmark infrastructural project anywhere in Biafraland but he built a modern railway line between Kaduna and Abuja in the hope that the North will love him, which never happened. That is how Biafran politicians behave” Asiegbu stated.

“The neglect of Biafraland by Goodluck Jonathan tells you even Igbo man enter there as president of Nigeria the person will stand with the north, you need to know about these politicians and their mindset. Our people believes in charity always begin in the North and that is why they are in the fine mess they find themselves in today’s Nigeria politics” he stated 

“Biafra is on the verge of being restored and we won’t trade it for anything in the world, not even an Igbo presidency of the United States of America. Very soon the world will understand how serious we are about Biafra. People should relax and watch events as they unfold,” Asiegbu declared.    (The Sun)

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Ohaneze Dialogues For Igbo President, Says Chieftain |The Republican News

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Chief Chewas Okorie

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo said it has been strategising to produce a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in the near future.

The President of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Anambra, Mr Damian Okeke-Ogene, said this in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Awka.

Okeke-Ogene said the Chief Nnia Nwodo-led executive of the body would address the problems of the Igbos and pursue its agenda, including producing a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction.

He disclosed that the president of the parent body was presently consulting across ethnic divides with a view to forging an understanding with other Nigerians.

“This present Ohaneze is not the one you used to know; the executive of Ohaneze is ready to pursue Igbo agenda of which the Igbo presidency is part of it. “The Ohaneze president is consulting widely among the different tribes and ethnic groupings in the country. (thenigerian.ng)

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BIAFRA: Failure To Address Inequality, Injustice May Make All Igbo Agitators, Says Nwodo

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New Ohanaeze President General, Dr John Nnia Nwodo

 …Says Okorocha, Obiano have reconciled

By Mike Ebonugwo, Clifford Ndujihe, Gbenga Oke &  Olayinka Ajayi

PRESIDENT General of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, has stressed the need to address entrenched inequity, injustice and discrimination, especially against the Igbo to ensure harmonious co-existence in the country.

The two-time minister, who was elected Ohanaeze leader, exactly one month ago, pinned the raging agitation for the Republic of Biafra by Igbo youths on perceived injustice and discrimination meted to the Igbo.

Noting that he had never been a tribalist and was president of the University of Ibadan students union, he said as Ohanaeze leader, he has to convey the views of his people as it is in order to get a solution for the good of all. He added that he witnessed the civil war and does not want to witness another civil war, hence the need to address the faulty unitary structure of the country that is responsible for most of the problems.

Buttressing why Igbo youths are agitating for Biafra, Nwodo said most Igbo people may be forced  to join the agitation if the discrimination and injustice against Igbo continue.

Wondering why nothing is done to Boko Haram terrorists, who picked up arms to fight Nigeria and no armed Fulani herdsmen has been prosecuted, among others, he lamented that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, carrying placards are gunned down even though they have right to freedom of movement and association as enshrined in the constitution.

‘’Law enforcement agents should not dramatise to the nation that they are from a particular part of the country, confer an immunity on criminals from that part of the country and requires a high-handed approach to those who do not come from that part of the country.

‘’The selective prosecution of criminals in our country and the exertion of brute force in certain areas of the country even without the apprehension of crime destroys the very foundation on which this federation is founded. We have increased ethnic consciousness within the length and breadth of this country and  this has fired separatist interests,’’ he said.

On the recent media war between Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Willie Obiano of Anambra State, Nwodo said the duo have resolved their differences after he pleaded with them.

‘’What happened between Governor Okorocha and Governor Obiano is just a storm in a tea cup and it has been accentuated by your colleagues in the way they addressed it. They had a principled disagreement about a representation of which number of governors were crossing from one party to the other. One made an assertion and the other made a denial. The rebuttals were taken over by their press aides and put in such unpalatable light that embarrassed their superiors.

When it happened, I called Governor Okorocha and he was in South Africa. He was not even in Nigeria at the time the rebuttals were issued instantaneously and replied and claimed not to have seen the rebuttals before their publication.

‘’Governor Obiano, on the other hand, was totally embarrassed. He said to me, this is not my language. I could not have gone this far. I was prepared to discipline my staff until they presented a defence of the Imo governor’s writing but they did not bother to contact me before writing those things. They felt they were doing me a favour. He said how could I discuss my colleague in that manner and two wrongs don’t make a right.

‘’So, in the circumstance, he made a phone call to governor Okorocha and they both discussed it and put it behind them. And they have both respected my plea for an injunction that this matter should not go ahead and that has happened. We are both planning to have a meeting of all the South-East governors, which will discuss the basis of our  relations,’’ he said.

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Igbo Intelligentsia Forum Congratulates The New Ohanaeze President General

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The President General,
Ohaneze Ndigbo.

Sir, It is with great pleasure that we at the Igbo Intelligentsia Forum wish to congratulate you on your victory at the recently concluded Ohaneze polls.

Your election, as well as other befitting members of your cabinet, came at the nick of the time when Ndi Igbo are in dire need of a credible, stable and people-oriented leadership.

It is our sincere prayer that God will empower and strengthen more, your candid resolve to steer Ala Igbo into the right sociopolitical and economic path.

The Igbo Intelligentsia is a Think tank institution preoccupied with finding solutions to the myriad of disturbing questions about the Igbo nation. It is in this regard that we lend you our unreserved support while also encouraging your leadership to extend a hand of fellowship and incorporate other sister organisations whose aims and objectives are aligned with that of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo in order to collectively expedite actions maka odi mma Ndi Igbo.

Once again, congratulations sir.

Signed.
National Coordinator,
Chief Joe Ikunna

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MASSOB Will Not Support Arms Struggle, Says Uwazuruike |The Republican News

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Founder of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has distanced his group from the threat by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to resort to arms struggle.
IPOB, in a recent report, threatened to take up arms, if “Nigeria security agents do not retrace their steps from further killing and molestation of Igbo youths”.
Uwazuruike, who spoke in Owerri, the Imo State capital, through MASSOB Leader Solomon Oduchukwu, noted that the threat by IPOB was a confirmation of his alarm about the group’s disposition to violence.
Describing IPOB as a radical movement, Uwazuruike urged Igbo youths to reject any by plan to cause another war in the country.
He said: “Ndigbo cannot afford to go into another war. MASSOB strongly exonerates itself from the threat of IPOB; they have always incited violence and this is against the principles of MASSOB. Their threat can only lead to the killing of innocent youths in Igbo land and we will never allow another bloodshed.
“When you throw stones and other dangerous weapons at security agents, what do you expect? We would never come down to their level. MASSOB can never be compared to IPOB. We have veritable structures and non-violent approaches. We would celebrate MASSOB Day on May 22; Biafra Day on May 30 and MASSOB Anniversary on September 13. What has IPOB got to show? Nothing but violence.”
Also, the MASSOB leader welcomed the new leadership of Ohanaeze.
He urged the new executives to project the interest of Ndigbo, unite the Southsouth and the Southeast.
Uwazuruike said: “We would support the new leaders, if they have the interest of Ndigbo at heart; if they support the actualisation of Biafra. They are welcome.” (The Nation)

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OHANAEZE: Nwodo Is Our Choice For President General, Says Ugwuanyi |The Republican News

From Petrus Obi, Enugu

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State yesterday disclosed that the choice of the former minister of information, Chief Nnia Nwodo for the post of president general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo was a collective decision of stakeholders of the state across political divide.
Governor Ugwuanyi explained that when he was informed that the position was zoned to Enugu State,  he called a meeting  of stakeholders where it was decided that it would be zoned to Nsukka.
He said the decision was based on the fact that Enugu West senatorial district had taken a shot at the post while Enugu East senatorial district was currently occupying the state leadership of the pan Igbo socio-cultural organisation.
The governor who spoke at the civic reception in his honour by the people of Imilike in Udenu Local Government Area of the state in recognition of his remarkable achievements, said the stakeholders unanimously nominated Chief  Nwodo for the post after due consultation.
He added that unlike in the past, the people of the state were happy with the selection process.
“The choice of Chief Nnia Nwodo for the post of president general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the choice of Enugu State,  not my personal choice,” Ugwuanyi said.
Other contenders for the Ohanaeze plum office are Chief Enechi Onyia (SAN), Mike Ajogwu (SAN) among others.
The election is slated for January.

Read also: IGBO: we are co-owners of Nigeria, but it’s time to develop our region

Already, a 21-man electoral committee led by Professor Anya O. Anya has been put in place to ensure a hitch-free exercise that will usher in a new executive to pilot the affairs of the Igbo apex body for the next four years.
Other members of the electoral body include former health minister, Professor A.B.C Nwosu who is to serve as secretary, Prof.Ihechukwu Madubuike, Prof. Elo Amucheazi, Prof. Philip Atanmo, Prof. Sam Ukpabi and Ambassador Eddy Onuoha.
Others include Col.J.O.G Achuzia (retd), General Godwin Ugwuoke, Akunne Aroh Azikiwe, Dr. Chris Akoluka, Chief Kate Ezeofor, among others.
Briefing newsmen after their inauguration, Prof Anya promised that the committee would live up to expectations of the duty entrusted to them.
“Things have to change.It is only through good leadership that the desired  change can be impacted. We shall do our best for Ndigbo,” he said.
Also, the out going President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. Igariwey expressed belief that the electoral committee would live up to the challenges of the duty entrusted to them, since they are proven men and women of integrity.
Igariwey explained that the January 12, 2017 transition to a new leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo was in tandem with the four years tenure that his executive was elected to serve. Also in line with the constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, which also was the same electoral guidelines in conformity with the constitution through which his predecessor and the previous leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo were elected.

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He explained that there was no crisis on the issue of tenure of elected executive of the organisation, as being speculated in some quarters. He stated that the alleged two-year tenure was purely the imagination of trouble shooters.
Commenting on the controversy being generated on the purported choice of Dr. Nnia Nwodo as his successor, Professor Igariwey stressed that there was no doubting the fact that Enugu State would produce the next president general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in line with the zoning principle of top positions  enshrined in the constitution of the organisation.
“Further to that, the constitution also provides that at least three candidates from the state should  contest  for the position and they must buy their forms as an indication of interest and thereafter, appear before the electoral committee for screening.”
He stressed that the electoral committee which has commenced work immediately would in due time, publish list of candidates who bought the forms and passed through the screening exercise.

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Igariwey said there were no other methods through which elections are conducted in Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the organisation was not subject to dictates from any political or social pressure group.
The out going Secretary  General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Joe Nwaorgu also spoke in the same vein, stating that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership was not subject to the dictates of South East Governors,and nobody could impose any candidate on the group.
He assured that the new executive members  would be produced based on majority votes of delegates from the five Igbo states and Igbo speaking tribes from Delta and Rivers states. (The Sun)

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