Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has reacted to the controversy trailing the recently conducted election of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, describing some Igbos as restless characters.
Ikpeazu, who spoke from Umuahia during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, stated this on Monday, condemning the existence of factional leadership of the Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation.
“Some Igbos are restless characters. They can try to throw up all kinds of things within the polity to see how they can either truncate or have it their way.
“The beauty of leadership and succession is the ability of those that could not have the ability to lead at that time to be able to queue behind the person that is leading now.
“The good thing is that Professor Obiozor (President-Elect) is not from Chad or Sudan, he is an Igbo man. You cannot be more Igbo that Professor Obiozor.”
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When asked what he meant by restless, the governor explained that the Igbos are found everywhere even in Sambisa forest, adding that the easterners are known to be hardworking.
The Abia governor asked the Igbo people to drum support for the newly elected President-General of the Ohanaze Ndigbo, noting that the move would lead to development in the south-east region.
Speaking further, Governor Ikpeazu said the emergence of Professor Obiozor is linked to the survival of the Igbos.
On whether the Igbo umbrella body has the ability to promote unity in the south-east following the crisis that rocked the emergence John Nwodo and Professor Obiozor in 2017 and 2021 respectively, the governor replied in the affirmative.
“Oh yes, there is no question about that. If you take a retrospective look at the leadership and track record of Chief John Nwodo from then up till now, you will notice that the Igbos for the first time in many years are more cohesive now than before.
“We want to see how can explore to the fullest our potential and capacities to make meaning contributions to the unity of Nigeria,” the governor added.
Ikpeazu’s remarks come 24 hours after Nigeria’s ex-Ambassador to the United States, Professor George Obiozor emerged the President-General of the Ohanaze Ndigbo.
He scored 304 votes to beat two other contestants to emerge the winner in the exercise held at the Dan Anyiam Stadium Owerri.
Following his emergence, the outgoing Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the body, Chief Chuks Ibegbu lamented that the election process was faulty and lacked proper democratic rules of engagement.
Ibegbu, who was one of the leading contestants for the post of Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, regretted that he purchased the nomination form at an unacceptable sum of N300,000.