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SOUTHEAST STABILIZATION FUND PROJECT STILL ON FOCUS AS OHANEZE GETS NEW PRESIDENT

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Omenihu Alfred fibmn

The Igbo leaders under the auspices of Ime-Obi (highest decision making organ) in their last summit for the year 2020 held on the 6th of December at NIKE LAKE RESORT HOTEL ENUGU and presided by the former president of Ohaneze ndi Igbo Chief Nwodo ended with lots interesting resolutions while all the big wigs that matters from the zone were in attendance.

Prof Osita Ogbu, the Chairman of SOUTHEAST STABILIZATION FUND COMMITTEE which was inaugurated on July 18th 2020 also reported and displayed on screen the works of the committee. The group which is made up of 50 egg heads drawn from every part of the region are proposed 2 establishments for south east ALAIGBO INVESTMENT COMPANY and NDIGBO DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION. He said that it will be private sector driven and IGBO sons and daughters will be encouraged to invest with a minimum of N1, 000.

They requested for the approval of IME OBI to set up a 9-member board of trustees to register the Institutions. They asked for the setting up Technical and implementation committee for adequate implementation. The President General Chief Nnia Nwodo asked for the adoption of the report and it was done via motion and voice vote, therein the PG announced the transformation of the committee to Technical committee so as to achieve the set targets.

You could remember that, the Governors of the Southeastern part of Nigeria in conjunction with Ohanaeze Ndigbo, apex Igbo socio-cultural group that represents all Igbo communities within and outside Nigeria. For the first time have agreed to set up Alaigbo Stabilization Fund, a developmental foundation for Igbo land. The Alaigbo Stabilization Fund as we reported in the publication is aimed at building the Eastern part of the country to be at par with other first world countries like Catalonia in Spain, and Bayern in Germany. This project originated from the thought by stakeholders from the Eastern Nigeria region who noted that it would be futile to wait on the Federal government to embark on restructuring, stating that if programmes like the Alaigbo Stabilization Fund are properly executed, citizens would successfully develop their zones.

And in view of this, a 50-man steering committee made up of experts and professionals in banking, finance, and development economics, from the diaspora and all the South East States was set up to draft the basis of Alaigbo Stabilization Fund and its governance protocol. The committee is headed by Prof. Osita Ogbu, a renowned economist and development expert and former Economic Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo, while, Anyim Ude was to serve as its Secretary. Members of the Committee were carefully chosen based on their individual learning, competence and exposure, according to the statement. As part of the efforts to intensify and speed up the execution of the project, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo said that the committee would involve all Igbo sons and daughters at home and abroad, adding that anyone who invests in the project would receive dividends.

You will still remember that the former spokesperson of Ohaneze ndi Igbo Chuks Ibegbu, assured that If the project succeeds in Igbo land, it will rub off on the rest of Nigeria and Nigerians will also be happy. Nigeria has no business with poverty. Our people need to be healthy and happy but our politicians, past and present have looted us dry with our parasitic elites. He noted that if pursued vigorosly, it will make Igbo land a paradise on earth and wipe away their tears. Ibegbu in a statement called on Ndigbo in the diaspora, intelligenstia, business moguls, scientists and entrpreuners to invest in the programme and make Igbo land the toast of the world.

“Let the Arthur Ezes, Ubas, Innosons, IWA, our billionaires and every Igbo patriot invest in this project. Let us have six lane roads. Speed rails, seaports, skyscrapers, beautiful cities and agricultural revolution. This is a big challenge to Ndigbo and we owe this to the three million people we lost in the past,” Ibegbu said

Still on the matters arising in the rowdy session of the lme Obi Ohanaeze Ndigbo, ratified and adopted a 40-member national electoral committee nominated by the Chief Nnia Nwodo leadership for the January 11, 2021 election. The summit also directed that the 2021 national election should be conducted in strict observance with the group’s constitution, stressing that it would continue to ensure that Ohanaeze flourished as the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation.

Nwodo had told those who attended meeting that he had no intention of working against the interest of Igboland, stressing that his administration would not foist a successor that did not emerge from the election in line with the constitution. He insisted that it was not in his place to anoint his successor, insisting that Ndigbo have always had their own way of doing things, which would not be in short supply during his time.
Nwodo, who chaired the meeting narrated how he became President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo four years ago, stressing that it was not a sole decision but the collective agreement of the Enugu people. He said even when it was obvious that he was widely accepted by the Enugu people and beyond, other candidates, who were interested in the position, still contested on the elections day.

He announced that while Imo, Abia, Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi had four members each on the list, Delta and Rivers states had three members, explaining that other members were drawn from Ndigbo Lagos, Association of Southeast Town Unions (ASETU), Youth Wing, Ohanaeze Abuja, Aka Ikenga and Izu-Umunna, among others.
He proposed that Chief Ben Obi from Anambra State should head the Electoral Committee while Chief Ferdinand Agu from Enugu State becomes the secretary.

At this juncture, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, dismissed the list as improperly procured, stressing that he was not consulted before the names from Anambra were chosen. Ngige stated that the list was full of practicing politicians, insisting that a proper Ime-Obi should be constituted to enable Anambra members of the committee to be submitted. Arguing along the same line, former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha stated that Imo had no consensus candidate for the President-General position allocated to the state


George-Obiozor

Expressing disappointment that Prof. George Obiozor could condescend to the level of becoming a consensus candidate with all his exposure, Okorocha insisted that such action was not known in the Ohanaeze Ndigbo constitution. He called on Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and others to withdraw their plan for a consensus candidate in the interest of AlaIgbo, stressing that Ndigbo should be allowed to conduct their affairs in an atmosphere devoid of rancour.

In another development, Gen Umahi (rtd) in his capacity as the Chairman South east security committee which was inaugurated on 31st August 2019, gave report on the workings of the South east security committee. He reported that they have developed what is called SOUTH EAST CONCEPT OF SECURITY, but pleaded that he would not like to disclose other strategies because of its security implications.

More so, at the election, a former Nigerian ambassador, George Obiozor emerged as the new President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation. Mr Obiozor, a former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Israel and Cyprus, polled 304 votes to defeat his closest rival, Valentine Oparaocha, who polled 15 votes. The election took place at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri, capital of Imo State. It followed a motion by A. B. C. Nwosu, seconded by Ben Obi, dissolving the John Nwodo-led executive of the organization. Thereafter, Gary Igariwey, the chairman of the Electoral Committee, said the committee had adopted an open process in the form of Option A4 for the balloting to promote the transparency and credibility of the process.

However, three of the contestants – Chukwunyere Nwaebo, Goddy Uwazuruike and Uju Okoro – stepped down for Mr Obiozor before voting began. The electoral committee had said three of the eight persons who picked the nomination form did not return the forms. They were Chidi Osuagwu, Chris Asoluka and Joe Nworgu. That left only two contestants in the race – Mr Obiozor and Mr Oparaocha
Sam Ohuabunwa was then invited to moderate the election and voting was done on a state by state basis, starting with Abia State. Other states that voted were Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers. Other voters were drawn from accredited affiliate groups and Igbo groups in the diaspora.