As we all know, few weeks ago, Ohaneze Ndigbo, the foremost and largest Igbo sociocultural organization concluded its elections, declaring Prof. George Obiozor the 10th President General.
However, Ohanaeze is divided.
One faction is going to court to challenge the election results, different Igbo groups keep springing up and mushrooming, Igbo stakeholders are calling for a rerun, another one of such dissident groups has even registered a parallel Ohanaeze Ndigbo
with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), while we the onlookers are watching disappointedly and helplessly the further whittling down of Ohanaeze and its essence as the umbrella body of the Igbo people.
Ohanaeze was never this politicized. The motive for the creation of Ohaneze Ndigbo in 1976 was purely to foster unity amongst the Igbos and address certain important issues threatening the growth of Alaigbo. But on a quest to hang onto power, it has erupted into a bedlam and led to a breakdown of the organization.
In any functional unit, be it civil societies, unions or political parties, even as little as a university departmental election, there are always individual interests, but individual interests must never be greater than the group interest For example, the Obasanjo presidency in 1999 was not just a pure production of the PDP primaries, it was a unanimous consensus that the power shift had to go to the Southwest as recompence for Abiola’s death. So, you see, a certain Alex Ekwueme would have knocked Obasanjo out of the polls with ease. Another instance is Olu Falae who lost woefully to Ogbonnaya Onu in the APP primary, but in the spirit of group interest, Ogbonnaya Onu stepped down as all political parties were zoning to the Southwest in 1999.
There are too many instances to give but the question is- Where is the Igbo interest in Ohaneze?
At the moment, there are just too many issues bewildering Alaigbo, ranging from insecurity, disunity, lack of infrastructural development and industrialization in the region.
So, what is the Ohaneze presidency that the Igbo nation must tear itself for?
What happened to the glory days after the war when Ohanaeze led by Prof. Ben Nwabueze used to be the torchbearer of the Igbo race?
This is not to support any candidate (I don’t know them, most likely never will), but something has to be said of a group of men who ought to be mentors and father figures embarrassing themselves all to cling onto power and relevance.
I also learnt that this ugly struggle for the soul of Ohanaeze is for 2023 presidential election endorsements and the largesse that comes with it.
When all these institutions are torn down, what would the Igbo of the next generation look up to? Umunne m, where is the Igbo team spirit- Igwebuike?
Are we not losing it as a major ethnic group in Nigeria and black Africa? Taa bu gboo (It’s never too late to make amends).