The controversy trailing the endorsement of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party by Igbo highest decision-making body, Imeobi Ohanaeze Ndigbo, took another dimension, Thursday, as the National Executive Committee has suspended the Secretary-General, Uche Okwukwu, over alleged anti-organisation activities.
He was suspended by Ohanaeze NEC over his alignment with the All Progressives Congress to factionalize the body which is in violation of the constitution of the pan Igbo socio-cultural organization.
But this did not go down well with Okwukwu, who immediately after his suspension was announced was said to have step outside, made some calls and in less than five minutes, over 30 policemen with five Hilux vans stormed the meeting holding at the national secretariat, GRA Enugu to disperse the meeting.
It was gathered that parts of the allegations levelled against the suspended Secretary-General, Okwukwu was hinged on misconduct which includes; “That he organized a press conference in Nnewi, Anambra state, to contravene the position of Ohanaeze on the endorsement of Atiku, when he was part of the endorsement; making some spurious allegations against the leadership of the body, going to Aba, Abia State to endorse President Buhari in the name of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and joining APC leadership to factionalize the Igbo apex body.”
Ohanaeze stated that the action of Chief Okwukwu smacks of betrayal of his people, noting that he was actually in the meeting at the Nike Lake Restore, where the debate on the endorsement took place and he did not raise objection, only for him to go and aligned with desperate politicians in APC, who had vowed to mortgage the future of Igbo nation for their personal gains.
Since the endorsement was announced, there have been reactions from so many quarters depending on their political leaning.
Some have described the endorsement as suicidal while some said it was for the overall interest of Ndigbo and Igbo direction in the February 6, election.
Reacting the Secretary-General dismissed his suspension claiming that it was mere political rascality which can be obtained only in Student Union politics.
He said the meeting was not convened in line with the Ohanaeze’s constitution and therefore his suspension a nullity.
Okwukwu also disclosed that a body of Igbo leaders and concerned personalities have suspended the President-General Nnia Nwodo for his rascality and Prince Richard Ozobu has been appointed the President-General and chairman, disciplinary committee.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress, Enugu State Council, has declared their support for the Nwodo-led leadership of Ohanaeze, while condemning the statements by Governor Willie Obiano against Ohanaeze leadership describing it as unfortunate coming from an Igbo governor who should know better
NLC in a statement issued by its political committee, signed by Comr. Ikechukwu Ekere and Dr. Pat Eze, chairman and secretary respectively, said “Ndigbo especially the younger generation should learn how to respect our elders which is in tune with the tradition, culture, norms and values of an average Igbo man.
“We vehemently pledge our loyalty and unalloyed support for the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,” it said.