By Musa Baba Adamu
A parallel Imeobi of Ohanaeze Ndigbo held on Thursday, with Chief Richard Ozubu emerging as chairman of a 21-man electoral committee.
Ohanaeze election is expected to hold January, 2021, with controversies already trailing the process.
In a communique issued after Thursday’s meeting, Uche Okwukwu, the Secretary-General of the apex Igbo group said the Garri Igariwey Election set up during an Imeobi convened by Chief Nnia Nwodo-led Ohanaeze was null and void.
In the communiqué signed by Okwukwu, he alleged that “unauthorized people not mandated by the Ohanaeze Constitution have hijacked the electoral process for the purpose of imposing their preferred President General.
“Imposition of a candidate for President General is illegal, undemocratic and unacceptable.
“The Electoral Timetable, as pursued by the illegal Nwodo-led Ohanaeze, is deliberately delayed to rob candidates of any chance of campaigning before delegates.
“The same electoral process is deliberately implemented in breach of Covid-19 protocols. Diasporan delegates, for instance, cannot come home to vote on account of the lockdown.”
Okwukwu said the Imeobi elected a 21-member Electoral Committee to organize and conduct the 2021 Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Election.
“The Electoral Committee is chaired by Prince Richard Ozubo with Dr. Promise Okoro as Secretary.
“The Electoral Committee is mandated to draw up the electoral guideline and determine the fees to be paid by contestants. It is to determine the date and venue of the election in line with the popular will of the people.
”The Imeobi congratulates all Igbo governors for ensuring that their states are peaceful. The Imeobi calls on the Federal Government to take all practical steps to halt the killings in the country, particularly in the north.
“The Imeobi calls on Igbo governors to take practical steps to boost food production in response to the Covid-19 challenge. The Imeobi congratulates the Governors of Ebonyi and Anambra States, Engineer Dave Umahi and Dr Willie Obiano, for their agricultural strides.
“The Imeobi congratulates the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike for his infrastructural milestones. The Imeobi congratulates the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu for his youth empowerment and small and medium scale industries development. The Imeobi congratulates the Enugu State Governor for maintaining an investor-friendly environment and security and the Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his massive rural development programme.
“The Imeobi calls on governments at all levels not to interfere with the Ohanaeze election to ensure free and fair conditions suitable for the best candidates to emerge. The Imeobi calls on all Igbos to disregard the claim that some contestants have been endorsed by President Muhammadu Buhari through his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari. The Imeobi calls on the Federal Government to distance itself from the election as it is an internal affair of Ndigbo.
“The Imeobi declares all purported past Imeobi, NEC or General Assembly meetings, which were not called by the Secretary General, as illegal. The Imeobi calls on all parties to respect the constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,” the communiqué read in part.