The President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Prof. George Obiozor, has said that the new leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo under his watch would not use his position as a tool to remove Ndigbo from the rest of Nigeria, but to negotiate the position of the South-East in the one and indivisible Nigeria.
He stated that the socio-cultural group would also work for the interest of the generality of Igbo people, and would do everything to stop any form of marginalisation and discrimination against Igbo people in Nigeria.
Obiozor stated this when he led the new leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide on a courtesy visit to the country home of the First Republican Minister of Transportation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, at Ukpor, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
He said: “The Igbo have been neglected for too long in Nigeria, in every sphere of life. The new Ohaneze leadership will break that ice of marginalisation. Igbo are not evil; we are not destroyers; we are builders in this country.
Therefore, any form of evil and marginalization against Igbo must stop. “But in trying to achieve this, we are not going to remove the Igbo from the rest of Nigeria in the form of secession. We are not going to instigate another civil war or crisis. We are going to use diplomacy to ensure that the Igbo take their pride of place in our collective patrimony called Nigeria.”
Obiozor said that he led his team to the house of the elder statesman, Mbazulike Amaechi, to seek his blessings and wise counsel, to enable the socio-cultural organisation face the task ahead with courage, determination and wisdom, adding that “Amaechi is the only surviving link to the old things.”
“Among his peers, there was nobody that had made genuine commitment to the course of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo more that Mbazulike Amaechi. He made genuine sacrifices from the onset of the apex Igbo union. We are thankful and grateful to still tap from his fatherly counsel.”
Earlier, the Chairman, Council of Elders, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Uwuanyanu, said that Mbazulike Amaechi, being the only survivor among those that witnessed the formation of Ohaneze Ndigbo, would become the rallying point of whatever the present Ohanaeze would do.
“Mbazulike Amaechi is the only person still living today, who witnessed the starting point of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. So, today, he is the rallying point of whatever we are doing.
This is the reason we are in his house today. We need his prayers and fatherly advice. “The new Ohanaeze leadership has not visited any other person, be it governor, business man, or whoever. This is our starting point; because, Mbazulike Anaechi is our rallying point,” he said
Also speaking, former governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, said every person should rally round the new Ohanaeze to enable it succeed. According to him, the new leadership would not do it alone without the support and goodwill of all wellmeaning Igbo people.
Responding, Mbazulike Amaechi commended his visitors for deeming it fit to honour him with such visit, expressing his confidence that the new Ohanaeze would deliver on its mandate, while also pledging his total support for Obiozor-led administration. “I am happy that the President-General, Prof. Obiozor; and the Secretary, Amb. Okey Emuche, are experienced diplomats. There is no doubt in my mind that they would deliver in their mandates.
The two are very well known to me, and I can personally vouch to their integrities. “My advice is that the new leadership should understand how Ohanaeze was formed and the reason behind the formation of the association; so that it will not derail. I am happy the new leadership has the support of the south east governors. They are also lucky that I am still around to direct them. If, at any time, you need my counsel, do come to me,” he said.
Others in the entourage include Vice President General of Ohanaeze, Ichie Damian Okeke Ogene; President of Ohaneze in Anambra, Chief Emeka Ododeme.