Ohanaeze: Southeast governors, leaders rally behind Iwuanyanwu

… Elder statesman assumes office as President-General, eyes Igbo peace summit

Southeast governors and Igbo leaders on Sunday rallied behind elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu as he assumed office as the new President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.

The governors were led by the host and governor of Enugu State, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and his Anambra State counterpart, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo to participate in the Ime-Obi sitting of Ohanaeze at the old government house lodge, Enugu, where Iwuanyanwu was presented and ratified as the new leade of the Apex Igbo sociocultural group.

The chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum and governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi, his Imo and Abia States counterparts, Senator Hope Uzodimma and Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu were represented by their deputies, Barr. Kelechi Igwe, Prof. Placid Njoku and Hon. Sir Ude Oko Chukwu respectively.

Also present at the event were governor-elect of Enugu State, Peter Mbah; former governor of Anambra State and presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi; former governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim; former Senate president, Adolphus Wabara; Senator Victor Umeh; former Presidents-General of Ohanaeze led by Chief Nnia Nwodo, former minister of health, Prof. ABC Nwosu, Nze Fidelis Ozichukwu Chukwu, among others.

In his acceptance speech, Iwuanyanwu described the event as a remarkable day in his life, because it is a day when providence and the love of his people, Igbos propelled him to the position of President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide. 

He noted that all through his life, he had done his best to serve Igbos both in time of war and time of peace.

Iwuanyanwu also disclosed that he did not nurture the ambition to be the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide,. saying, “instead I had the ambition of becoming the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I contested for the Presidency on three occasions but I did not succeed. I took my losses in good composure knowing full well that as a Christian, all powers and promotion come from God. 

“But today, destiny has placed squarely on my shoulders the duty of leading the Igbos as the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide. I therefore have a duty to valiantly defend Igbo course and I promise Ime-Obi and all Igbo people that by the grace of God I will not fail them”. 

He said he had carefully examined the present circumstances of Ndigbo and had decided among other things to focus on education, agriculture, industrialization, electricity, power generation, health etc as core of his assignments during his tenure.

On the security situation in Southeast,. Iwuanyanwu described it as very disturbing and expressed his belief that there is very urgent need for a Peace Summit in Igboland. 

He used the opportunity to appeal specially to President Mohammadu Buhari to release leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu before the expiration of his tenure in office,. saying that Nnamdi Kanu is very crucial for any key discussion and it is not possible to negotiate any peace while he is in prison.

“It is also important to note that the judiciary has discharged and freed Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. It will be the joy of many Igbo people and Nigerians to see Mazi Nnamdi Kalu released from detention. There is also a report that his health is deteriorating. I feel it is important that he is released to have access to his medical doctors so that he does not die in the prison”, he said.

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