Cross River group denies rivalry with parent body
Some concerned members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo have initiated moves to reconcile the warring factions in the organisation following the January 10, 2021 election in Owerri, Imo State that produced Prof. George Obiozor as President-General.
Certain persons, who purchased forms to contest various positions in the organisation, had earlier withdrawn from the race, alleging a plot by the former leader of the organisation and some South-East governors to impose an executive for Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Before the Owerri meeting, a faction of the organisation had claimed that it conducted an election in Enugu that produced Chief Chidi Ibeh as President-General. Since then, the Ibeh-led faction and that of Obiozor had functioned on parallel lines, even as those who withdrew from the race due to alleged irregularities had remained neutral.
But worried by the development, some concerned Imeobi members, who met in Enugu at the weekend, constituted a peace committee, headed by Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, Reverend Anthony Obinna, as Chairman with Anglican Archbishop of Enugu Province, Reverend Emmanuel Chukwuma, as co-chairman to review the issues.
Addressing journalists shortly after the inauguration of the committee, Chairman of the Concerned Imeobi members, Elder Uma Eleazu, said they could not continue to watch while things go wrong in Ohanaeze Ndigbo
He stated that members, who are largely made up of elders in Igboland, were disturbed about the welfare and unity of Igbo land and its institutions, stressing that Ohanaeze Ndigbo affairs should be conducted in a constitutional manner to maintain peace and order.
Elder Eleazu said it was inappropriate for Ndigbo to be divided and fighting one other at this time, stressing that the division in the organisation was ridiculing Ndigbo.
On his part, Chukwuma, said the body would reach out to the various factions to make them see the need to come together as members of one family in the interest of unity, peace and development of Igboland.
Also speaking, Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia, who is secretary of the committee, Reverend Chibuzo Opoko, noted that they would look into the issues and bring all contending factions together.
MEANWHILE, Interim President of Igbo Congress in Cross River State, Prince Raymond Atulomah, has said Ohanaeze Ndigbo remained the apex body of Igbo in the state and as such, there was no rivalry between both organisations.
He said the organisation was not formed to rival Ohanaeze Ndigbo, but to complement it, adding that it was a socio-economic and cultural association formed to foster unity among Igbo professionals in the state.