By Anthony Isibor
The Association of Southeast Town Unions, ASETU, has decried the manner the new leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo emerged during the election that produced Ambassador George Obiozor as the new president-general of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural group. But the group is more inclined to seeking a way forward to promote the interest to the Igbo in the country.
According to ASETU, the process of the just-concluded election of the national leaders of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been largely illegal. This was relayed in a statement signed by Emeka Diwe, national president, and Gideon Adikwuru, national secretary of the union.
ASETU, in the statement after its meeting held on February 20, at the union’s national secretariat in Enugu, stated that the national executive committee of ASETU had sent two field observers to monitor the election in compliance with the request of the immediate past leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and from the observers report and its own extensive analyses, the group believed it was in the right place to make some relevant observations.
It noted that the election to the leadership position of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo ‘’has shown the level of dedication in the hearts of our people and their preparedness to take part in every process that will usher in genuine leadership to drive the rebirth of the Igbo people.
‘’Given the numerous and essential challenges faced by Ndigbo today, it is expected that we are keen to get strong and reliable hands that will steer our development and security plans, this passion animated for the purest of patriotism must be harnessed for the attainment of a greater Igbo nation’’.
The ASETU also regarded the election as unconstitutional as the process had violated the Constitution which recognized the unions as the building blocks of Ohanaeze.
Part of the statement reads: ‘‘The vast majority of town unions were not carried along in the process. In many instances, the delegates to the election were handpicked, instead of chosen through a congress at the local levels.
‘’There was also the lack of transparency in the electoral committee which saw some of the aspirants withdraw from the race.
‘’The list of delegates was never published for scrutiny and some aspirants lamented that they were not availed the opportunity to know and interact with the delegates’’ the group said.
‘’There have been parallel elections held, with at least two people claiming to be the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
‘’Several court cases have also been filed on the same issues of credibility’’ the group said.
According to the group, all these combine to undermine the credibility of the election, noting that though the shortcomings of the election are undeniable, the group, however, appealed to all persons and groups concerned to sheathe their swords and come together to fashion out a way forward.
‘’It will amount to an indelible abomination to the entire Igbo race if we allow our collective masquerade, Ijele, to fall to the ground.
‘’The way forward has to be inclusive and handled by men and women of integrity,’’ the group said.
The ASETU, however, commended those who have stood on the side of peace and have worked relentlessly towards its attainment during this period. It also declared its commitment to support and contribute to any effort that will bring all the stakeholders to the table to fashion a way forward.
– Feb. 25, 2021 @ 9:04 GMT