The presentation of Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu as the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo by Imo Council of Elders contravenes the constitution of Ohanaeze.
This was the verdict of the former coordinator of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu State chapter, Chief Hon James Ugwu, while fielding questions from newsmen in Enugu weekend.
Recall that Imo Council of Elders, Wednesday, presented the octogenarian to Gov Hope Uzodinma of Imo State as replacement for the late Ohanaeze PG, Amb George Obiozor, who died last year in Dubai.
Hon Ugwu said, “Amb Obiozor’s replacement should emerge through a by-election in accordance with the constitution of Ohanaeze, which Chief Iwuanyanwu actively participated in drafting.”
He also made a case for a younger president general of Ohanaeze, considering the great expectations of the office.
Quoting him, “Chief Iwuanyanwu’s age is not in tandem with the rigours of the Ohanaeze leadership in the face of current realities in Nigeria. Iwuanyanwu, as charitable as he is, should be helped to enjoy his old age which is a gift from God.
“He should be celebrating his longevity with fulfillment, having achieved a lot as an individual. In fact, Iwuanyanwu should be a consultant to a younger PG.
“Gov Uzodinma is pushing Chief Iwuanyanwu to be the President General of Ohanaeze against the Ohanaeze Constitution and without consideration to his age/health. Nigerian realities will tell any progressive-minded person that Ohanaeze requires a PG that can work his talk, and not an armchair leader.”
Chief Ugwu recalled that during Iwuanyanwu’s 80th birthday celebration, even with the presence of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the engaging speeches of former President General of Ohanaeze, Chief Nnia Nwodo, the elder statesman spent a greater part of the event sleeping, adding that, ‘such shouldn’t be projected to be the leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo’.
He continued, “We need an energetic leader that can navigate all odds and attend to the myriads of political, cultural and economic challenges facing the Igbo nation.”
It would be recalled that Ohanaeze Elders Council, led by Prince Richard Ozobu, Thursday, rejected the manner Iwuanyanwu emerged.
According to the elders, “Iwuanyanwu’s appointment as Ohanaeze PG is unconstitutional. The processes of assumption of any office in Ohanaeze as enshrined in our constitution as amended in 2004 say ‘in the sudden death of any officer, there must be a bye-election approved by the Imeobi and ratified by the general assembly’.
“Iwuanyanwu was the chairman of the Strategy and Planning Committee of Ohanaeze in 2004; hence we are wondering why a man who was part of amending the constitution would fall victim.”