Dr. Joe Nworgu, former Secretary General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, says Ohaneze might lose its potency as voice for Igbos if politicians are allowed to interfere in the January 2021 elections.
Nworgu told the News Agency of Nigeria in a telephone interview on Friday in Awka, Anambra State that article 11 of Ohaneze spelt out methods and persons qualified for president general and secretary general positions.
Ohaneze, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation through Imeobi, the highest policy making organ, cedes positions to five South East states of Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Anambra and Imo, as well as Igbo speaking parts of Rivers and Delta States.
Nworgu said it was very clear that Imo State would produce the next president general of Ohaneze, adding: “All we are waiting is for the Imeobi to meet on December 6 and come up with guidelines for the election.
“While we wait for the guidelines, I want to state that I am contesting for the position of president general as Imo State indigene.
“My stand as it affects next Ohaneze election and the position of president general is that nobody can be sole candidate for that post in a state with the slot.
“The Constitution stipulated that at least three persons from a state can contest the positions of president or secretary generals.
“Imo State Government is at liberty to support any candidate of her choice, but that does not mean that other persons from the state cannot contest.”
Nworgu noted that if other interested parties are made to forgo their interest, it would result to denying other constitute states the right to choose a candidate of their choice.
Nworgu, who was Deputy Secretary General between 2000 and 2003 as well as Secretary General between 2013 and 2017, said there are indications already that people outside Igbo tribe are showing open support on someone for the president general position.
He said: “The clear interest of people outside Igbo race on who leads Ohaneze is a very dangerous sign to the future of the body as a voice for our people.
“If we want other tribes to dictate for us, so be it, but that would mean bringing down the rating of Ohaneze from the present height the present leadership by Chief John Nwodo has taken the body to.”
NAN gathered that the following persons: Mike Okiro, former Inspector General of Police (retd); Prof. George Obiozor; Dr. Joe Nworgu; Chief Chris Asoluka; Chief Goddy Uwazuruike; and Prof. B Osuagwu, all from Imo State, have interest in the number one position of Ohaneze.