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Ohanaeze factions lock horns over national secretariat

The crisis rocking Ohanaeze Ndigbo has taken a new twist, as the Chief Chidi Ibeh-led faction said, yesterday, that it would shut down the national secretariat of the organisation in Enugu, claiming that it was not suitable for activities.

But the Prof. George Obiozor-led faction asked Nigerians to discountenance the pronouncement as coming from “jobbers whose only motives are to cause disaffection in Igboland.”

It claimed to be fully in charge of the secretariat and Ohanaeze worldwide, insisting that the secretariat was not shut. Ibeh, who reportedly inspected the secretariat yesterday with his team, told reporters that a temporary secretariat, also in Enugu, would soon be unveiled to Ndigbo pending the completion of work on the new secretariat being built by Senator Rochas Okorocha.

He said: “We have seen that this project has been completed, but has not been furnished. At this juncture, we appeal to Okorocha to help us do the finishing.

“But while that is being done, we hereby shut down this place against any further activity. This place is going to remain closed and a temporary headquarters is going to be sited within this Enugu metropolis, in a very short while.”

Tagging Obiozor, the chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Elders’ Council, he insisted: “We must discountenance the purported election conducted on January 10 at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, pioneered by the governor of Imo State. That was a heinous act meant to destabilise Ndigbo. That we must not take.”

However, members of the Obiozor-led executive resident in Enugu, who had rushed to the secretariat on learning about the pronouncement, described the Ibeh group, as “social media tigers seeking publicity.”

Led by the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonna, they insisted that the national secretariat would remain open for activities, asking the Igbo who have anything to do there to feel free to do so.

Meanwhile, Ohanaeze Veterans said yesterday that it aligned with the position of eminent Igbo groups as Concerned Imeobi Members (CIM) that recognised neither of the factional elections held recently.

In a statement signed after its meeting by Bismark Orji and Ndubuisi Igwekala, the group said both elections were fundamentally flawed, not complying with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Constitution and not meeting the minimum standards for credible elections.