The apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said it is not supporting the senatorial bid of a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu.
Ohanaeze, in a statement by its Secretary General, Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, on Saturday said a media report claimed that the pan-Igbo organisation had endorsed the ex-governor in his ambition for the Abia North Senatorial District election.
Nwaorgu said, “Our statement here is as a result of the gush of protests by knowledgeable and bona fide members of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze and other distinguished Igbo sons and daughters as to the bemeaning of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, which we, as current national executive members, are on oath to defend and protect from bastardisation.
“The said article offends Ndigbo, who collectively own Ohanaeze Ndigbo. For the uninformed, including the reported author of the statement quoted, Ohanaeze does not involve itself in partisan politics concerning/between Ndigbo and Ndigbo at governorship, senatorial, assembly – national or state, etc. levels as the contestants are all members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
“Ohanaeze does not take sides. It is recklessness for any individual to claim he speaks for Ohanaeze on any issue as only the President General and the Secretary General or, when delegated, the Publicity Secretary can speak for Ohanaeze as per the Ohanaeze constitution.”
The pan-Igbo group condemned the claim in the article, saying that Igbos should not be worried about Ohanaeze due to unauthorised individuals latching on to the brand name and claiming to hold positions, albeit, unknown to the Ohanaeze constitution.
The statement added, “Dr. Promise Okoro, described (in the report) as a don and a member of the advisory council of Ime-Obi, the highest decision-making body of Ohanaeze Ndigbo is not a member of Ime-Obi, Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Secondly, Ime-Obi does not have an advisory council.
“The man should, therefore, retract such outrageous claim and abuse of the tenets of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Abuja chapter should investigate and report to Ime-Obi, Ohanaeze at the next Ime-Obi Meeting in Enugu.”