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Ohanaeze election: Lack of guidelines, venues has nullified pollsOsuagwu

Published by The Nation on Sat, 09 Jan 2021

By Damian Duruiheoma, OwerriOne of the candidates for the office of the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. Chidi Osuagwu has dismissed Sundays election, saying its outcome would amount to a nullity.Osuagwu made the comments at a press conference on Saturday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, where he said that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo election process did not follow constitutional guidelines.According to him, there are no official guidelines as well as no information on venues for the election at all levels.There is no official statement on nomination forms, yet some people have paid and names were drawn up for LGA elections that did not hold anywhere. There are no official lists of national general assembly statutory members and the ones that are associated with states, as required by the Ohanaeze Constitution, he said.This development, he added, had practically nullified the polls, because, according to him, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Election is conducted according to law. Ohanaeze has a Constitution which has copiously been ignored and violated. Obviously, the election will be held outside the Constitution and any election that is held in contravention to the provisions of the Constitution is illegal and null and void. Thats exactly the fate of Ohanaeze Ndigbo election Sunday.Prof. Osuagwu said that though, Nwodo-led executive would end Sunday, the scheduled election has been handled in a way that is most bizarreIve bought the forms for the candidacy at N500,000 which is very strange considering that this is a socio-cultural organization that service should be voluntary.Unfortunately, they have turned the exercise to a political party thing. We have a situation where people no longer distinguish between Ohanaeze Ndigbo as a sociocultural organization and political parties.There are no guidelines which why some of us cant be part of that, he said.READ ALSO:Court cant stop Ohanaeze election, says Anambra leaderHe accused some people with vested interests of plotting to hijack the process and declare their preferred candidate winner even without following due process.Osuagwu stated that he has endorsed the recommendation by some concerned Ime Obi members for the outgoing president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo to hand over to the chairman of the southeast chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in an interim capacity to conduct an acceptable election for the body within two months.According to him, 63 prominent Igbo men and women across the nine states met via Zoom on Thursday night, noting that the fundamentals for open, free, fair, and transparent elections have been breached brazenly and that the election is postponed by two months.I endorse this recommendation because we are predominantly Christians and should entrust the leadership of Ohanaeze to CAN for two months to enable it to achieve fairness, transparency, and integrity of the process, Osuagwu said.
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