The umbrella organization of Ndigbo worldwide, the Igbo World Assembly (IWA) after reviewing some pre-election issues has rejected the just concluded parallel Ohanaeze Ndigbo elections outcome.
This is even as the group has called for caretaker committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo for about three months to ensure unity of Ndigbo and also to conduct credible, free and fair election that will follow due process.
The global Igbo body also expressed disappointment by the failure Ohanaeze to conduct elections that promotes Igbo unity, progress and development.
IWA after a worldwide meeting held recently in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze, Christian Onuorah, vice chairman and Oliver Nwankwor, Secretary General said that it critically reviewed, assessed and analysed the issues and circumstances that led to the elections of disunity in Ohanaeze Ndigbo in particular and Igbo nation in general.
“It is our solemn duty to Ndiigbo to communicate and share our findings which serve as the basis of our decision and which will guide our future actions,” they said.
Speaking on the elections irregularities, IWA noted without mincing words that Prince Okwukwu’s faction of Ohanaeze election was held in secret without any transparency.
Similarly, speaking on chief Nnia Nwodo’s faction of Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s election, IWA said that option four method was used during the election but noted that the process that led to option four was undermined and completely manipulated.
In accordance with the constitution, election guidelines, according to IWA, were not issued to all the contestants at least seven days before the election day resulting to several credible candidates withdrawing from the elections to avoid giving legitimacy to a flawed election.
“The Congress of President Generals of the Igbo Town Unions were not allowed to elect their representatives into the State General Assembly who in turn elects the delegates to both the National General Assembly and the State Assembly,” the group alleged.
“Thus, all the three levels of the General Assembly were not properly constituted but replaced by practicing/partisan politicians hence the Ohanaeze electoral process of the January 10, 2021 was flawed.
“The international standing. Integrity and reputation of Ndiigbo which is anchored on equity and fairness is damaged.
“The civilized world knew about this election and could sanction those involved in this election malpractice. IWA is pained seeing the reputation of Ndiigbo being damaged and our leaders being sanctioned.
“The impunity and the intentional irregularities in this election has brought regrettable factions in Ohanaeze Ndigbo and thus disunity amongst Ndiigbo that will have severe impact in 2023 Nigerian Presidential election.
“This electoral irregularities and flagrant disregard of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Constitution is not sitting well with the physique of Igbo youths and Igbo people.”
The group stated that they will neither recognize nor associate with any of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo parallel executives produced by “flawed and unconstitutional elections.
“IWA therefore agrees and aligns with the decisions and plans of Concerned Imeobi Members and we urge them to immediately set up Ohanaeze Ndigbo Caretaker Committee to first bring unity and later have Electoral Committee to conduct credible, free and fair election that will follow dues process.”
While appealing to all patriotic Igbo organisations and individuals to put Igbo interest first, IWA claimed that there were a lot of irregularities in the elections.
According to the group, the differences between the immediate past President General Chief Nnia Nwodo and the immediate past Secretary Prince Uche Okwukwu were not settled by Ime Obi Ohanaeze, saying it was a missed opportunity that should not be repeated in the future.
“The purported suspension or sacking of the immediate past Secretary Prince Uche Okwukwu was not sanctioned by the Ohanaeze General Assembly and therefore did not comply with the Ohanaeze’s Constitution,” IWA said.
“That there were parallel Ime Obi meetings, one called by the immediate past President General Chief Nnia Nwodo and another by the immediate past Secretary Prince Uche Okwukwu, was an early warning of disunity.
“Two parallel Electoral Committees, one led by Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey and the other by Prince Richard Ozobu for the same Ohanaeze election, this was a clear demonstration of disunity.
“When that was not possible IWA, under the Global Igbo Leaders recommended that a properly constituted Ohanaeze Ndigbo Caretaker Committee be established to run the affairs of Ohanaeze Ndiigbo for about three months beginning the 10th of January 2021 to ensure the unity of Ndiigbo.”
IWA recalled that concerned Ime Obi Ohanaeze members had equally called for caretaker committee to be set up but the immediate past President General Chief Nnia Nwodo and the immediate past Secretary Prince Uche Okwukwu ignored those calls for unity.