ENUGU: Ohanaeze Speaks On Plans For 2023 General Election

The Apex Igbo Socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, says it is taking proactive action to ensure peaceful elections across the entire southeast and beyond.

The National Publicity Secretary of the association, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, gave the assurance recently in Enugu while speaking with our correspondent on what the body was doing to ensure that elections held peacefully in the zone.

Ogbonnia said in spite of threats by a faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) the body was poised for peaceful election in the region.

According to Dr Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been able to manage such threats in the past with respect to elections, assuring everybody both in the South-East and in Nigeria that election would hold successfully in the zone.

“I want to assure the general public that election will hold very well in the South-East.

“I have sufficient reasons to say so: during the second tenure of former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano our youths said there wouldn’t be any election.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by the then Chief Nnia Nwodo, went to the Anambra State House of Assembly and convinced them why there should be election.

“We met Anambra stakeholders and engaged the youths at various levels and eventually election held and produced Chief Willie Obiano for the second term,” he narrated.

Dr Ogbonnia equally said that similar template was used during the election of the incumbent Governor of the state, Professor Charles Soludo and it yielded positive results.

“The time of Gov Charles Soludo, we faced similar challenges and we in Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Prof. George Obiozor, met the stakeholders, engaged the youths, talked to them and eventually they saw the need for that election to hold.

“So in the forthcoming election also, the Council of Elders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, led by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, held a meeting recently in Abuja,” he said.

He said the essence of the meeting was to see how they can prevail on the Igbo youths to see how the threats on election would be countered, so to that extent, we intend to meet the Governors of the South-East and stateholders in the zone.

“And I want to believe that ultimately we shall convince our youths on the need for the elections to hold and also the benefits for the election; the benefits they intend to drive for the election to hold and also the disadvantages if it does not hold.

“Remember they said there wouldn’t be election in Anambra, then Ohanaeze prevailed on the youth and some other stakeholders and ultimately the election also held.

“So I’m giving these instances to assure you that we’re doing everything possible to ensure that election hold,” Dr Ogbonnia assured.

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo National Publicity Secretary, also said that insecurity in the zone was being blown out of proportion.

“I make bold to say that insecurity in the South-East is being exaggerated beyond the reality on ground.

‘I can tell you that the insecurity in the South-East is not in anywhere near the insecurity in the northeast; it’s not in anywhere near the insecurity or the banditry in the northwest and also the middle belt.

“Every part of the country has insecurity, but the one of the South-East is been exaggerated beyond the reality on ground,” he regretted.

On the every Monday sit-at-home being imposed in the zone by IPOB, Dr Ogbonnia said it was also part of the issues the Council of Elders, headed by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, had been tasked to come up with the best solution to the problem.

He noted that it one of the issues raised at the Council of Elders for Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

“I want to believe that in no time, we begin to tackle that effectively, because of that, we’ve spoken freely on it, we’ve also tried to engage the youth.

“We’re very worried that if it continues like this, not just that the economy of the zone was been depleted, but generally it doesn’t say good of the zone,” he noted

He added that the group would soon embark on exercise of socialization, creating awareness, letting people know that it was not very good for us to be embarking on sit-at-home.

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