The South East Revival Group, SERG, has accused the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, of “engaging in political bazaar” and patronage rather than working to stabilise Igbo land in the face of growing marginalization.
The socio-political pressure organisation in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Benedict Ezeagu, observed that it was unfortunate that rather than defend and promote the overall interest of Igbos, Mr. Nwodo had turned himself into a ‘political tool.’
“It is very unfortunate that the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, rather than defend and promote the interest of Igbos, has made himself an available tool in the hands of Igbo detractors and non-Igbos, especially the Arewa irredentists, to denigrate Igbo nation, our sacred traditional institutions and prominent Igbo sons and daughters.
“Such despicable cases in recent time were when he decided to attack Nnamdi Kanu and his Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) agitators, a deviation from his earlier declaration as a father to the young Igbo people, who would have called his erring children into his bedchamber and counselled them, if he believed that they have missed the mark in their strategy for Igbo self-determination.
“Having forgotten so soon the apolitical nature of his office, in his bid to impress his newly found political allies, the Ohanaeze President General chose to openly castigate his acclaimed children after he has descended so low to represent a former military ruler at a book launch,” the statement read.
The group said Mr. Nwodo had departed from his role as a leader in the region.
“Why is it a bit difficult for him to sit down in his office to coordinate the efforts to liberate Ndigbo from their oppressors in Nigeria by bringing together the Igbo self-determination agitators and other Igbo sons and daughters to find a common solution to the Igbo Question in Nigeria?
“Is he not worried to see how the northern youths that issued quit notice to Ndigbo are being pampered and caressed by their northern leaders while their counterparts in the Eastern region are being hunted down daily?”
The group called on Mr. Nwodo “to retreat and sit down at the Ohanaeze Secretariat in Enugu and attend to myriads of sociopolitical and economic challenges confronting Igbo people and receive anyone on a courtesy call as a leader of a prominent Igbo socio-cultural organization, rather than cheapen his position by joining political entourage and gallivanting all over the eastern region as a mere ‘political errand boy.”
Mr. Nwodo, in a swift reaction, denied the allegations by the SERG.
In a statement by Ohaneze’s Publicity Secretary, Uche Achi-Okpaga, Mr. Nwodo said he retired from partisan politics years ago and does not intend to return to it.
He, however, said he would do all it takes to fight for the interest of the Igbos.
The Ohaneze chairman while describing the group’s statement as an attempt to distract the present Ohaneze leadership from the good works it is doing said the group was speaking from a stand point of ignorance.
“Note that the Ohanaeze has met with the South East Governors Forum, South East Caucus of the National Assembly. We have met the South South group, South West and the Middle Belt among others. Discussions are not for newspaper pages. Chief Nwodo led the entire South East leaders and met with the Acting President. They just don’t know the modus operandi of the present NEC. That is why they can’t distract us”
“The current National Executive Committee (NEC) of Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo does not react or respond to every comment. Deliberate attacks on Ohanaeze are legion and we do not want them to distract or constitute a clog on our will of progress. Plausibly, people are entitled to their opinions and you know that one cannot reason above his knowledge”.
“There is an Igbo adage that says, “what an elder sees while lying down a child will climb a tree and still be looking for it. Let me state in clear terms that the President General of Ohanaeze retired from partisan politics long ago. He insists that he will not return to it again”, he said.
He noted that his network of friendship built across the country over the years is invaluable to Ohaneze and will continue to deploy them to work for the Igbo nation.
“Note however that the event that brought Alhaji Atiku (Abubakar) to UNN was organised by the Senior Staff Club of the University which includes professors of high note, pure academics (and not politicians). Nnia Nwodo was only invited to chair the event and coincidentally, Ohanaeze is routing and canvassing for restructuring just like Atiku has bought the idea hook, line, and sinker,” the statement said.