Elders set up 20-man caretaker committee for Ohanaeze
THE leadership dispute in apex Igbo Socio –cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo deepened yesterday as the Chief Mbazulike Amechi led Ohanaeze Elders Council announced a 20-member caretaker committee to run the affairs of the organization.
The caretaker committee to be inaugurated on Thursday in Enugu adopted three members from each of the five southeast states and two members each from Rivers and Anioma in Delta state.
Announcing the setting up of the committee at a press briefing in
Enugu on Tuesday, Chief Amechi stated that it had become necessary
following the expiration of the two year tenure of the Chief Gary Enwo Igariwey led executive on Monday, January 12, adding that the “out gone executive failed to appoint an electoral committee for conduct of elections into the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo”.
He said: “It is necessary to inform the general public that Chief Igariwey and members of his past executive are no longer in a position to speak for Ohanaeze or Ndigbo. Whatever they do or say now and henceforth are their personal positions or views to which they are entitled.
“The two year term of office of the Chief Igariwey executive of Ohanaeze Ndigbo expired yesterday, January 12, 2015. The 20-member aretaker committee appointed by the Joint meeting of the elder’s council and Igbo leaders on December 21, 2014 will be formally inaugurated shortly to run the apex organization until it is able to elect new officers”.
But in a swift reaction yesterday, the embattled executive of Igawirey stated that it would continue to speak for Ndigbo, explaining that its tenure would continue to run until 2017 in line with the tenure amendment carried out by the late Ambassador Ralph Uwaechue administration in 2010.
It’s Secretary General, Dr Joe Nworgu said: “The case is in court. Chief Mbazulike Amechi has no locus to act in capacity as chairman of
that body. If they are answering any other name, then their demands are not binding on Ohanaeze. It is very clear that they are trying to cause a rift in Ohanaeze Ndigbo. At the moment and in the present
circumstance, we will stand our ground. We will continue to speak for Ndigbo until our tenure expires in the next two years, God willing”.
Meanwhile, a group of Igbo leaders under the aegis of Igbo elders’ council have asked the Igariwey led executive to respect the oath which they took on assumption of office two years ago and quit in the interest of Ndigbo.
Secretary of the group, Prince Richard Ozobu, who briefed reporters after their meeting in Enugu, said it was wrong for the Igariwey led executive to continue to lay claims to a not amended constitution for its continued occupation of office, stressing that no constitutional amendment on tenure was carried out in 2010.
Ozobu said: “There is a process spelt out by the constitution in
carrying out an amendment in any part of the constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Uwaechue tried to amend that constitution but it was not completed. Imeobi Ohanaeze does not have power to amend constitution.
“The exparte order which the Igariwey executive against conduct of fresh elections into Ohanaeze has expired after seven days. Since the life of that administration is two years, nature abhors vacuum and
therefore, Ndigbo should not be without leaders. So we call on Igariwey and others to respect the sanctity of the constitution of Ohanaeze and bow out honourably in the interest of peace. We cannot continue to present our race in the bad light”.
Ozobu stated that any action carried out by the Igariwey executive would not enjoy the support of Ndigbo as it may no longer get general acceptance.