leaders of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, at the weekend, met in Enugu with Governor Rochas Okorocha, of Imo State, with a view to resolving the lingering crisis in the apex umbrella of Igbo Socio-cultural group.
At a meeting he held with leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo at the Enugu Secretariat of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Okorocha stated that there was need to reform and review rules guiding the organisation so as to confer roles and reduce frequent elections.
He said that he would sincerely wish that the organisation functions like a civil service, where there are fixed terms for administrative and elective offices as well as remunerations for those serving the organisation.
The meeting was the second in less than two months as Okorocha had earlier waded into the leadership crisis that factionalized the organization.
Addressing Ohanaeze leaders, Okorocha renewed the call for them to abide by the decisions reached in Owerri that brought the leadership crisis to an end.
He said that he decided to visit the secretariat to ascertain how the committees set up to work out modalities for fresh election into the Ohanaeze was doing and preparations for the construction of new secretariat for Ohanaeze Ndigbo, which he had undertaken.
Reminding them that the incumbent executive would work till next year, the governor said he was willing to support any initiative that would give Ohanaeze Ndigbo a new face, stressing that the committee should embrace all shades of opinion in their work to ensure a permanent solution to crisis within the organisation.
“Those of them who are elected but wish to move into administrative office will have to take one and the secretary general should be like a Director General that runs the secretariat. It should be a five year contract of two renewable terms.
“The elected people should function in advisory capacity for a straight period of five years. The Directors can be there as much as they are doing well. If we keep electing people we will not get the caliber of people you want.
“There is always a gap when there is no election, but these civil servants close the gap once there is no election. Through this, Ohanaeze can never go down again; it will continue to go up,” he said.
He also called on the members to work out a suitable date for the celebration of “new Igbo unity,” stating that preparations for the event should begin in earnest, even as he promised the speedy completion of the new secretariat building.
Speaking with Journalists after the meeting, Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Joe Nworgu said: “We received His Excellency Rochas Okorocha at the secretariat of Ohanaeze Ndigbo today.
“The purpose of the visit is to fulfill his promise to build a befitting Complex for Ohanaeze Ndigbo. He came with full compliments of building experts and committed the professions to go to the site. We also rubbed minds as to the shape a befitting Ohanaeze in line with the Ohahaeze constitution.
“We thank him immensely for the interest he has shown in the apex Igbo organization and the pride and dignity of Ndigbo. We challenge other Igbo sons to put in efforts to energise the organisation rather than giving flimsy excuses for not supporting the organisation. We hope other Igbo sons will support the project.”