Governor Hope Uzodimna of Imo State has throw his weight behind the candidature of Prif. George Obiozor to become the next President General of Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo, the spec Igbo socio/cultural body in the country.
Governor Uzodimna gave his endorsement when a powerful delegation of eminent and distinguished Igbo leaders of the Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo, Worldwide, Imo State Chapter, led by former Presidential candidate, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, paid him a courtesy call at Government House, Owerri, on Monday, November 22, 2020.
The leaders had come to present Prof. Obiozor to the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, at the Exco Chamber Government House, Owerri, by the leaders.
Obiozor was chosen earlier on Sunday in Owerri, Imo State, by about 200 political, traditional and religious leaders as their consensus candidate for the job.
Making the presentation, the leader of the Delegation, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, said that many candidates indicated their interest to contest for the position, adding that the committee of 200 eminent Imo leaders picked Prof Obiozor because of his vast experience and acceptability.
“Over 200 Imo leaders met to evaluate the candidates we did a very thorough job and found out that Obiozor is the one that can do the job.
Imo State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Eches Eches, while confirming the candidate, said that the churches were involved in the process adding that there was forthrightness in the process of selecting Prof. Obiozor.
Eze Sam Ohiri said from the traditional institution, that the job was sort of a challenge to find somebody that would match the qualities of outgoing president general.
“We asked them to submit their CVs and qualities and saw intimidating quality fixations but after scrutiny we found out that Prof. Obiozor was eminently qualified.
One of the contestants and former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, said that they decided to pick the best among the best,
“All of them were almost qualified but we were looking for the best we were able to spot Prof. Obiozor whose CV was intimidating. We chose him and everybody accepted our choice”, the former IGP said.
In his acceptance speech, Prof. Obiozor thanked Imo people and all stakeholders. He said the decision to contest was a decision not based on self-aggrandizement, adding that his most concern was service to the people.
Governor Uzodimma while endorsing Prof. Obiozor said that the decision to present a consensus candidate for the organisation is very laudable.
“The decision of the Imo State chapter of Ohanaeze to present the consensus candidate of this organisation is very laudable, I was taken unaware by their actions, I had no choice but to follow their part.
“By constitution (of Ohaneze Ndigbo) it is the turn of the State to produce the President General. (The) choice of Professor Obiozor is welcomed. He is eminently qualified by his wealth of experience. His adoption is coming at a critical time in the history of Ndigbo in Nigeria.
He advised Ndigbo to go about seeking for Igbo president with diplomacy and shun confrontational means.
“Igbo is beginning to be aggrieved but we can speak with one voice. I thank you for speaking with one voice. Every generation has its own challenges.”
Gov. Uzodinma continued, “Ndigbo must navigate with wisdom of Solomon. To achieve this we must be diplomatic and accommodating. A point can be achieved without firing a shot in the air. (The) Yoruba did it without war. They did it with diplomacy. Igbo will not go to war but will pursue it with diplomacy,” Uzodimma said.
Writing on the historic meeting on his verified social media facebook handle, Governor Uzodimma said:
We received in audience, a delegation of Ohaneze Ndị igbo Worldwide, Imo State Chapter, led by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, at the Exco Chamber, Imo State Government House, Owerri.
It will be readily recalled that I have been very vocal in championing the cause of the good and general well-being of Ndị Igbo in Nigeria and it wouldn’t be out of place to lend my support, this time, in repositioning the apex socio-political Igbo organisation, especially, now that the mantle of its leadership has gotten to the turn of Imo State.
I believe that the choice of Amb. Prof. George Obiozor as the President of Ọhaneze is a consensus agreement by all relevant stakeholders of the Ohaneze Ndị Igbo, Imo State Chapter. I have assessed his pedigree and antecedents and I see him as a man who will unite Ndị Igbo for any common goal.
Speaking at the meeting, I assured the delegation of my continued support to the Ohaneze Ndị Igbo Worldwide and my readiness to work in tandem with their visions for the general good of Ndị Igbo.
To this end, we shall all support and work for the victory of Amb. Prof. George Obiozor in the upcoming Presidential election of the Ohaneze Ndị Igbo since his candidature was a product of a consensus agreement by stakeholders in the State.
Furthermore, I will seek for the support of my brother Governors in the South East to support the candidacy of Prof. Obiozor as the rotational leadership clause in the Ohaneze Ndị Igbo constitution favours the candidacy of Imo extraction.
I commend the leaders and stakeholders for setting the pace in the art of negotiations and strategic thinking as it is pivotal in ensuring that the Igbo Nation continues to play active roles in National politics.
Those in attendance were; Vice President of the Ohaneze ndi igbo, Chief Hillary Okpara, Chairman, CAN Imo State, Rev. Dr. Eche D. Eche, Eze Samuel Agunwa Ohiri, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, Former deputy governors, Ebere Udeagu and Dr. Douglas Acholonu, Former Speaker IMHA and Rt. Hon. Maxwell Duru.
Others were Sen. Matthew Nwagwu. others are, Former IGP, Sir. Mike Okiro, Barr. Eze Duru Iheoma (SAN), Sir. Ambrose Ejiogu, Prof. Maurice Iwu, Prince Lemmy Akakem, Oliver Ohawe and Bishop Athan Azubuike, amonsgt others.
A former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Prof. George Obiozor, has emerged the most likely successor to the outgoing President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo.
Professor George Obiozor, who hails from Ngor Okpalla Council Area of Imo State, is a front line academic and exceptional diplomat. He served as Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States from 2004 to 2008. He studied at the Institute of African Studies, and Albert Schweitzer College. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound, a private university affiliated with the United Methodist Church and located in Tacoma, Washington, in 1969, and from Columbia University with a Ph.D. in International Affairs.
He was one of the most distinguished Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in Lagos. He has also served Nigeria as the High Commissioner to Cyprus, Ambassador to Israel, from 1999 to 2003.
He is the author of “Uneasy Friendships: Nigeria-United States Relations”, a hand book for Diplomats and has provide policticans with deep insights to Nation Building with his work on “The politics of precarious balancing: an analysis of contending issues in Nigerian domestic and foreign policy.”
Meanwhile, the Imeobi (Inner Caucus) of Ohanaeze Nidgbo will roll out guidelines for electing Nwodo’s successor, next week after an enlarged meeting in Enugu.
Chief Nwodo’s tenure will end on January 9, 2021. By the rotational principle of Ohanaeze, the next president-general will come from Imo, a reason a host of Imo leaders are now in the race.
Those eyeing the Ohanaeze prime seat include Professor George Obiozor; former presidents of Igbo Think-Tank group, Aka-Ikenga, Chiefs Chris Asoluka, and Goddy Uwazurike; former Secretary-General of Ohanaeze, Dr. Joe Nwaogu.
Others are former Imo State governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim; former Vice-Chancellor of Imo State University, Professor Ukachukwu Aloysius Awuzie; Professor of Law, and former Dean, Faculty of Law, Imo State University, Dr. Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiaraeri.