Professor George Obiozor
Prof Obiozor, Ohanaeze President-General

OBINNA EZUGWU

The newly elected President-General of apex Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor, has unfolded a four-point agenda which intends to implement to preserve the Igbo interest in contemporary Nigeria.

With security coming uppermost on his agenda, the former Nigeria ambassador to United States, Israel and Cyprus, promised to work for the safety of the Igbo at home and diaspora.

“Ndigbo must be safe at home and abroad. Ndigbo must never again be victims of circumstances they did not create nor can they control. Security of Ndigbo, young or old will be a priority in my tenure. And security does not come alone, it comes with justice. Therefore, we must always seek justice, equity and fairness no matter how difficult or how long it takes to achieve them,” he vowed.

Obiozor, who also served as Director-General of Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, equally listed economy, education, peace and reconciliation on his agenda.

Thanking Ndigbo for electing him, he said: “I know this is no easy decision on the part of Ndigbo or even my humble self. But I promise you all and my God, that I shall take up to the best of my ability to tackle the challenges and the responsibilities that come with the hallowed office with honour, dignity, dedication, decency and decorum.

“My dream type of leadership is leader/manager model, using the most and best available efficient persons and instruments to achieve Igbo collectively defined objectives. I believe this can be done without malice but with diplomatic dexterity, decency, candour and decorum.”

Noting that his decision to contest for the office was not based on personal ambition or self-aggrandisement, which he said he had outgrown, Obiozor said: “My most compelling necessity was service, a timely and crucial service at one of the most critical times in Nigeria’s history with dire consequences, particularly for Ndigbo as a national entity.

“Indeed, not only has governance become both difficult and complex in Nigeria, but down right an existential threat to Ndigbo in particular. The Igbo dilemma in Nigeria has come at last. And the time requires a very careful and delicate skilled manager in the relationships between Ndigbo and other Nigerian nationalities especially the national power elites. This requires a mature and experienced person with a capacity to build enough consensus to define and defend the interest of Ndigbo.”

For successful and continuous progress and prosperity of Ndigbo all over the world, Obiozor said he would “continue with religious zeal and commitment” the South-East Economic Stabilisation fund established by his immediate predecessor, Chief John Nnia Nwodo.

On education, he promised to work with Igbo-speaking state governors to revamp the education system because “the neglect of education has nearly thrown Ndigbo into incremental irrelevance in Nigerian politics and other national events.”

Appealing for the support of Ndigbo to achieve these objectives, he said: “We must make peace among ourselves. We must engage in healing Igboland, spirit of reconciliation and harmony among Ndigbo. Peace must reign in Igboland.”

To work with Obiozor in pursuit of these goals are 22 men and two women, who were elected as members of the Ohanaeze National Executive Committee.

They include: Chief Joel Kroham, Deputy President-General; Dr Lawrence Kingsley Chidozie, Vice President-General (Abia); Chief Afam Okeke Ogene, Vice President-General (Anambra); Chukwuemeka Festus Ogwu, vice President-General (Delta); Okeagu Ogadah, vice President-General (Ebonyi); Mrs Selina Ugwuoke Adibuah, vice President-General (Enugu); Ambassador Okey Emuchay, secretary-general; Chief Michael Nnakwuzie, deputy secretary-general; Mrs Beatrice Eze, national treasurer; and Chief Bathlomew Okere, financial secretary.

Others are Chief Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, publicity secretary; Joseph Obinamma Ojobu, legal adviser; Dr Ezechi Chukwu, assistant treasurer; Chief Nicholas Nnamdi Ezeh, assistant financial secretary; Dr Gilbert Egwu, assistant publicity secretary; Mr. Peter Chidera Aneke, assistant legal adviser; Comrade Okey Paul Nwankwo, state president, Abia; Prince Emeka Festus Udodeme, state president, Anambra; Prince Frank Nwandu, state president, Delta; Dr. Peter Obasi Mbam, state president, Ebonyi; Professor Fred Eze, state president, Enugu; Mr. I.C Ihemedu, state president, Imo; Mr. Lucky Achinihu Ekeji, state president, Rivers; and Elder Eugene Ibeabuchi, administrative secretary.