Election Crisis Splits Ohanaeze Ndigbo
A major implosion is set to hit the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization Ohanaeze Ndigbo as a result of fall outs of the just held youth and women wing elections.
Reports emanating from key members of the body says that while the shortchanged women in the women election are willing to let their maltreatment by the electoral committee and some state Ohanaeze Ndigbo presidents fade away without resistance, those meted with same treatment in the youth wing are conglomerating to give a fight.
Scoop from a high ranking member of the National Executive Committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo who begged for anonymity stated that “ some of the aggrieved youths are gearing up to fight for their trampled rights”. He went further to state that “at the last NEC meeting in Enugu, petitions on the abnormities have started coming in, and there is a likely jettisoning of the election because of some deliberate flaws”
The election which produce the former Deputy to the estranged Okechukwu Isiguzoro and land agent Mr. Arthur Obiora as president, is dented with acts best described as undemocratic.
In a petition sent in by one Henry Ugochukwu Opara who contested for the post of Publicity Secretary sighted by this medium, the Chairman of the Electoral Committee and unconstitutionally appointed Ohanaeze Ndigbo President of Imo state Dr. Ezechi Chukwu and the Vice President Rivers State Mr. Igo Opanamma with the aid of the Ohanaeze Administrative Secretary Mr. Eugene Ibeabuchi went against all democratic acceptable norms in order to ensure the emergence of their “anointed candidates”.
Opara’s petition also stated that Ezechi recruited one Chinedu Arthur Ugwa to intimidate voters and ensure they voted for those who met up with their financial demands. While Igo Opanamma recruited students from IMT Enugu to pose as delegates.
Unconfirmed sources claim that Opara’s petition which was received at the office of the Administrative Secretary has been stopped by the trio of Ezechi, Oparamma and Ibeabuchi.
But that is not the case of Mr.McDonald Ubani who was the sole candidate for the office of Ex-Officio (Abia) before his name was deliberately removed and substituted with one Okechukwu Dike who never applied for the position, as his letter was directly delivered to the National Executive Committee with Chief Nnia Nwodo presiding.
Most of the candidates in the election who were schemed out by the electoral committee complained bitterly of the committee’s flouting of their own guidelines. While Dr. Chukwu Ezechi , Mr. Igo Oparamma and Eugene Ibeabuchi are seriously fingered for collecting monies from candidates and their sponsors.
According to Comrade. Afunike Don-Christian; a contestant for the post of Deputy President, “there was a continuous sale of forms till the day of the election. Even after the screening of candidates. These are acts against the electoral guidelines”
He went further to state that “the list of screened candidates was not published, and candidates were not allowed to present their manifestos before the commencement of voting; this was done in order to protect the unqualified candidates of some Ohanaeze Ndigbo chieftains and some political actors who were bent on foisting their stooges on Ndigbo”
It should be recalled that the constitution of the Electoral Committee has credibility problem, as the Chairman of the Committee Dr. Chukwu Ezechi is not a constitutionally elected president, but an appointee of the former Imo state Ohanaeze Ndigbo president Dr. Ukegbu; hence he is least qualified to head such a sensitive body.
In line with the impunity, Dr. Chukwu Ezechi, appointed one Kingsley Egbechue as the Ohanaeze Youth Leader for Imo state, and both of them handpicked hired hands in Enugu to stand in as Imo youths for the election.
Similarly, Mr. Igo Oparamma who parades himself as the President of Rivers state Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the place of Barr. Mpi who is duly elected. As part of the impunities aimed at manipulating the outcome of the elections, the elected president of the Ohanaeze Youth Wing of Rivers state Comrade Bobby Ezemonye was sidetracked for a handpicked Frank Ezeiro who was lumped with some students of IMT Enugu as delegates for the election.
It should also be noted that their imposed candidate for the National youth Leader is ab initio not qualified to contest as he is a grand father that is no longer a youth, he very well over 50years of age, which is the maximum age limit stipulated for the election. We further learnt that the age limit was 45years as was the case in 2014 Youth Election but Chief Arthur Obiorah allegedly paid the Electoral Committee Chairman & An influential member of the committee, Chief Igo Oparamma the sum of N2million Naira to influence the extension of the age limit from 45 to 50 years.
They also covered him up during screening where Chief Obiorah presented a false age declaration to be cleared to contest. This explains the reason why the Electoral committee never publicly pasted the list of qualified candidate before the election as required by law & election guidelines to avoid protests by other candidates. Therefore the Person declared the Elected National Youth Leader, Chief Arthur Obiorah was never a qualified candidate for elective Office in the Youth Wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. The aggrieved party called for his immediate withdrawal to avoid litigations IN court.
With the unfolding development, there is a likely hood that the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization is set to face a crisis bigger than the fading Isiguzoro scandal, as some members of the Ime-Obi and elements not aligned to Nwodo’s leadership style are presently lending ears to the aggrieved candidates.
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