IS OHANEZE NDIGBO A POISONED CHALICE?

ON OHANEZE NDIGBO CHARADE AND THE THEATRICS AT THE GLASS HOUSE IN OWERRI IMO STATE

A STRONGMAN AGAINST A STRONG INSTITUTION

Remember the saying: If you are living in a glass house don’t throw stone?
Well, hear this story.


The current tenure of the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo a Socio-Cultural Igbo organization is coming to an end, and elections of their successors are now upon us. 


OHANEZE NDIGBO ELECTORAL COMMITTEE

In terms of the Constitution of Ohaneze Ndigbo, It is the function of the Ime Obi to constitute the members of the Electoral Committee. The Ime Obi is essentially the Board of Trustees of Ohaneze Ndigbo.  Also, it is the strict responsibility of the Ime Obi to approve the election calendar as has been the procedure in the past. The same procedure that had ushered in the outgoing Executives led by Chief John Nnia Nwodo. 
In spite of the above Constitutional Provisions, some of  the leaders of Ohaneze Ndigbo in conjunction with State Governors blatantly flouted the constitution. 
It makes one to wonder what business has the government got to do with a Nongovernmental Organization such as Ohaneze Ndigbo. (Here is the first stone cast in a glass house)


In that on 19th November 2020, these handful of people empowered by self interest assembled at a place in Owerri Imo State, Nigeria known as the Glass House, this building belongs to Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu (sounds familiar?) Their sole purpose was to usurp the constitutional functions of the Ime Obi.

They gathered some Imo State indigenes, tagged them Imo State Stakeholders, as though to impose them on the Igbo nation as being the Ime Obi; after few deliberations they announced a certain Prof George Obiozor as the Imo State consensus candidate. (Here is the second stone cast in the glass house)


Thereby destroying whatever candidate selection methods and democratic provisions enshrined in the Constitution of Ohaneze Ndigbo.

Why Imo State? The leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo is rotational,  and it is the turn of Imo State to produce a successor to Chief Nnia Nwodo who hails from Enugu State.

 
So many baffling questions readily come to mind which are the following:
-Is it now about a Strongman as opposed to a Strong Institution?
-Is it that the decision of one man and his cronies must overide the provisions of the Constitution of Ohaneze Ndigbo and the entire Oha? (Oha means, “We the People”)


-Is it now about “Off The Mic”?
-Must the Oha follow them like a herd or vehemently say “Soro Soke” (which literally means speak up), because the Constitution is Supreme and that rules must be obeyed?


-Must the Oha endorse the Charade of the Glass house  in Owerri Imo State or simply Ignore it with all the Contempt it deserves?
-Isn’t it that the Oha which is indeed mightier than the Strongman and his cronies put together, should consequently empower the *Ime Obi* to step in to Perform  its constitutional duty as the Arm whose function it is to oversee everything election including but not limited to, the power to constitute the Electoral Committee of Ohaneze Ndigbo? – It is time the Oha demonstrated *Ike-Oha* (means people’s power)


-Must the Oha even obey the Strongman who has usurped the Constitution and whose conduct is Ultra Vires?  Any illegal conduct has no force and effect in law.
-Must the Oha even complain at all about the illegal conduct of the Strongman or should the Oha just proceed to exercise that which the Ohaneze Ndigbo constitution has provided?
-Must the Oha not just ignore the Charade and the theatrics of the Glass house and simply look for justifiable actions to preserve and protect the Institution which ordinarily belongs to Oha?


Such actions may include without limitations the following:
Court actions which should be based on Ultra Vires principles:
-Approach the High Court to interdict the election, pending when the Constitution of Ohaneze Ndigbo has been complied with in full;
-Exolore an Application to Compel in terms whereof they demand the following:
.That the Ime Obi Ohaneze Ndigbo must meet for the purposes of the coming elections;
.The Ime Obi must constitute the Electoral Committee as provided for in the Constitution of Ohaneze Ndigbo 
.A proper nomination process for prospective candidates must be followed;
.Further that any interested candidates is free to stand for elections;
.Costs of suit; and 
.Further and alternative relief. 

Oha may as well consult with the Stakeholders and Affiliates to convince them to “Boycott” the elections until such time as the Constitution is obeyed.
-Must the Oha now say “enough is enough”? That any act or conduct Ultra Vires is not an act or conduct in law; further that such act or conduct is void ab initio. Illegality cannot be remedied by another illegality. 

The Glass house charade is illegal and therefore cannot be cured by proceeding with elections based on its illegal theatrics.
Two stones have so far been thrown in the glass house (being Ohaneze Ndigbo) is it enough to shatter it?


CONTENTIOUS ISSUES
The below issues that we have to focus on are very basic and detrimental to the successful and Oha-inclusive Ohanaeze election process hence its survival afterwards.


1. The *Affiliates registration fee* for potential affiliates is N250,000 which is not only outrageous, anti-oha inclusion but also demonic thereby making Ohanaeze a group for the select few rich guys.
2. *The Nomination Form for President General* is N500,000 and we ask if Ohanaeze has become one of the political parties in Nigeria where only the rich can express interest in elective positions. This also is totally unacceptable and has not been the case since Ohanaeze came into existence until under the current outgoing President Nnia Nwodo. 
3. The *Charade at Iwuanyanu Glass House in Owerri* where Chief Nnia Nwodo, Chief Iwuanyanwu and a few politicians hand picked Prof George Obiozor as their candidate without the involvement of the entire Imo State Ohanaeze, and then announced that the candidate will be presented to the Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma as the choice of the people.

This is not only undemocratic, criminal and unprecedented but a huge insult to the entire Igbo nation who are Democratic and Republican in nature. 

The above and other critical issues are at center of the battle for the survival of Ohaneze Ndigbo going forward. 

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