Peace returns in Ohanaeze Ndigbo as youth, women wings elect new leaders

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THE wild wing that breezed through the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo may have finally settled with last weekend’s election for new executive of the proactive organ of the apex Igbo group.

•Dr. Nwafor, new Ohanaeze women leader (with microphone) during her acceptance speech, surrounded by supporters.

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The youth wing election was also followed by similar election for the women wing of the group.

Prior to the election of the two wings, the youth arm of Ohanaeze became a torn in the flesh of the parent body which brought about the immediate past administration of Ohanaeze led by Chief Garry Igariwey dissolving the executive of the youth wing then led by Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro 2016.

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Isiguzoro executive however ignored the parent body and carried on as if the youth wing was a distinct and independent group outside the national leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

The Igariwey administration ended and the incumbent Nnia Nwodo administration inherited the ‘typhoon’ of the recalcitrant and militant youth wing which it managed to a breaking point.

When Nwodo reminded the rampaging Isiguzoro boys that he inherited a void leadership of Ohanaeze youth wing, the boys raised more dust to the extent that they announced that Nwodo has been removed as President General.

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The wild wind however settled last weekend as Mr. Arthur Obiora from Anambra state emerged new leader of the Ohanaeze youth wing.

Obiora from Anambra state polled a total of 147 votes against 187 to emerge as the new Igbo youth leader.

Obiora defeated two other candidates to emerge new chairman of the council.

The keenly but peacefully contested national election started with accreditation of delegates from the seven Igbo speaking states of Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers states.

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•Ohanaeze youth delegates casting their vote.

In the same vein, wife of a former deputy Governor of Abia state, Dr. Gladys Nwafor emerged, unopposed, as the woman leader of the apex Igbo socio-cultural group in a peaceful election conducted at the national Secretariat of Ohanaeze in Enugu.

There was however a mild dispute in the Saturday’s election of the Ohanaeze women wing executive among delegates from Delta state.

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Controversy arose from an alleged earlier endorsement of Prof Julie Umukoro from Ndokwa East in Delta state as the unopposed candidate for Deputy National Woman leader that was zoned to Delta state.

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But at the election venue, two other candidates presumed to had agreed on the unanimous candidature of Prof. Umukoro stood for the election with one of them, Mrs. Elizabeth Chiazor emerging winner.

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A report of the harmonization committee for the Delta state delegates showed the endorsement of Prof. Umukoro which the the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo had asked the electoral committee to comply with.

Reacting to the result of the elections, Special Adviser, Media, to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emeka Attama said with the election, the position of the youth wing which had been vacant since 2016 have now been filled.

“This has put to rest once and for all the issue of leadership of the Youth Wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo charged them that the principle of be thy neighbour’s keeper should be adhered to and I urge them to always work on concert with the parent body of Ohanaeze for the progress and development of Igbo land,” said Attama.

The new National Women Leader of Ohanaeze Women Wing, Dr. Nwafor pledged to pursue and fulfill all the promises she made to the women and men before her election.

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Also speaking, the chairperson of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo women election, Prof Joy Ezeilo expressed gratitude to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo for the confidence reposed on her team to conduct the election, saying she was happy for a peaceful and successful outing.

Ezeilo said “You know election is a constitutional matter. At Ohanaeze Ndigbo, we follow our constitution and to complete the executive elections were organized both for the Women and Youth Wings. I had the privilege of working with other team members and under the directive and guidance of the President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo.

“We followed due procedure, in fact it has been exercise that has been on, they bought their forms, filed them properly, we screened the candidates earlier in the week and after the screening we set out today being 21st of April 2018 for the election proper.”

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