In a fiercely contested election, a former information minister, Chief Nnia Nwodo on Tuesday emerged as the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide.
Other prominent Igbo sons who contested in the election a law Professor, Simon Ortuanya, Former Vice Chancelllor, Prof. Chiweyite Ejike and Chief Joel Ifeanyi Ezugwu.
Ezugwu and Ortuanya before the election commenced, announced their decision to step down for Nwodo, describing him as a man of wisdom and competence, well qualified for the position.
Nwodo was left with Chiweyite, a pioneer Vice Chancellor of then Anambra State University of Science and Technology, ASUTECH, to contend with and came out victorioius.
The election was held at the at the Ohanaeze Secretariat in Enugu where he 242 votes to emerge the winner while Prof. Chiweyite got 13 votes. There were 6 voided votes.
Early, Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi endorsed Nwodo for Ohanaeze Ndigbo president general race.
The seven Igbo speaking states, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Imo, Abia, Delta and Rivers, as well as other affiliate groups, including pro-Biafra groups, the MASSOB, and the IPOB participated in the election with specified number of delegates.
Speaking after his victory, Nwodo said he will run the affairs of Ohaneze in a transparent and accountable manner.
“I will not use this position to make money; if I am asked to die for you, I will do so”, he vowed.
Nwodo equally pledged to hold a meeting with the IPOB and other pro-Biafra groups, stressing that “if we allow them to be killed on daily basis, their blood will be on our head.”
Earlier, the stage for the election was set after Chief Ejiofor Onyia, Ohanaeze Vice President General had supported a motion moved by Chief Chris Asoluka for the dissolution of the Enwo Gari-Igariweh National Executive Council.
It was gathered that former minister, Alison Madueke, who earlier purchased form for the position of President-General did not present himself for screening. It was learnt that he stepped down following pressures from some quarters.
Some of the Igbo leaders present at the election included Former Senate President, Ken Nnamadi, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, former Governor Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, traditional rulers, among others.
The Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Prof. Anya O. Anya had in his speech charged the new executive to restore Ndigbo to the path of growth.
“We must learn lessons; we must keep our plan among ourselves; we must learn to talk less; to keep others wondering what must be in our mind”, he declared.