By Dr Chuks Anya
There is no doubt that the election for the office of the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo is already gathering momentum. In Imo state, heightened interests from some interested individuals for the exalted position have already brewing-in and gathering storms thereby electrifying the battlefield for the big contest.
The position which is zoned to Imo state in accordance with the constitution of Ohaneze Ndigbo, has indeed turned the state into a hotpot of political scheming and permutation. Interested candidates have already started putting up some manoeuvring strategies and imperatives to outsmart each other in the forthcoming heavy weight battle.
The election which is expected to take place on January 2021 on the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent President-General, Chief Dr John Nnia Nwodo has been described by many as a crossfire contest which will attract compounding interests from different quarters of the Igbo race towards ensuring that the next President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo will be a pan-Igbo breed who has an unquenchable and voracious appetite for defending the real Igbo cause in the Nigerian hemisphere
From a grapevine source, notable Imo sons are silently raising their decorated heads and warming up to throw their hats into the ring for the election. Reliably also, some are Nicodemusly seeking for the anointing and water baptism of Imo state Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma.
Meanwhile, pundits are of the opinion that any candidate sponsored by the Governor for the position may not see the light of the day due to the firm believe that the election of the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo is purely an Igbo election to be decided by Ndigbo both home and in diaspora which may not be influenced by any partisan interest.
However, it is believed that any candidate sponsored by the Governor may be seen as an APC surrogate who will dance to the wins and caprices of APC-led government.
Information at our disposal reveals that among all the interested aspirants, many Igbos believe that Dr Joe Nwaogu, a Cambridge PhD holder in Estate management, stands a better chance of emerging as the next President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo. Grapevine source also reveals that he has been under a heavy pressure from prominent Igbo leaders and Igbos in Diaspora who have on several occasions threatened to banish him if he fails to declare interest for the position. Many Igbos see him as the only candidate from the state who has the prerequisite experience and understanding of the leadership dynamics of Ohaneze Ndigbo, having served meritoriously as the Secretary-General. Even though he has not made any official statement to vie for the position of the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo but his body language proves that he may be interested in the exalted position. When he was accosted by the press on 10th July 2020 at his home town Umuota Umuhu Ngor Okpala during the burial of his elder brother, he declined making any statement as regards to his ambition for the position of the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo.
In a recent opinion poll conducted by an Igbo Group known as IGBO CONSCIENCE MANDATE, Dr Joe Nwaogu was tipped for the position. The opinion poll shows that among all aspirants interested in the position, he stands a better chance of clinching the position. His dispositional leadership artistry, clean-slate pedigree, technical know-how, proven track record of unparalleled distinction, solid and unmatched record of experience in the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo distinguished him out as the Primus interparis.
Consequently, considering the critical moments in which the Igbos found themselves in the nation’s socio-political firmament today, Igbos have continued to advocate for a President-General who will defend the real Igbo cause and not a surrogate who will be remote-controlled by politicians against Igbo interest in Nigeria. Someone who has the requisite experience and solid Igboness who can restore Ohaneze Ndigbo supreme status, re-establish harmony and Igbo unity, someone who has the trust of the multi Igbo groups, organs and organization to galvanize Igbo interest and navigate Ndigbo through the critical moments in the present-day Nigeria. This is the type of President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Igbos really want.