It was all about confusion, crisis and chaos galore as the long awaited election to produce the president of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo ended in a most disgusting dramatic end with the emergence of a former director general of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Prof. George Obiozor, on Sunday emerged the president general of the apex Igbo socio cultural organization. Obiozor controversially emerged as the other four candidates boycotted the election in protest against the procedure adopted by the electoral committee.
Even before the result was announced, major stakeholders in the election had rejected the election. Obiozor emerged victorious with 304 votes, defeating his closet rival, Dr. Valentine Oparaoche who got 15 votes, while Hon. Sergius Uju got three votes. The election took place on January 10, 2021 at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, Imo State.
Indications that the election had already headed for the rocks emerged following the parallel faction which had produced a former information commissioner in Imo state, Chief Chidi Ibe coming tops as the factional president general. However, speaking to our correspondent in an interview, a chief of the organization in Rivers State, Dr. Omenazu Jackson described the election of Obiozor as a charade devoid of every democratic norm. Jackson, who is a BOT member of the organization in Rivers State, said that the process under which the delegates emerged was faulty as known leaders of the organization, especially in Rivers State, were not taken along in the election that chose them.
According to him, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Rivers State will go to court to challenge the outcome of Sunday’s election. He accused the Ohanaeze leadership led by Chief Nnia Nwodo of manipulating the system to ensure that a preferred candidate emerged in the election.
It will be recalled that Obiozor was backed by governors of the South East led by Hope Uzodimma of Imo State. It was gathered that they withdrew following the decision of the electoral committee to adopt option A4 instead of secret balloting for the election. Also delegates from some states withdrew in protest against the procedure.
By Jude Owuamanam, Jenifer John, Ori Martins