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Obiozor should work for unity

Published by The Nation on Tue, 12 Jan 2021

Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Editor; Nwanosike Onu, Awka; Bolaji Ogundele, Sanni Onogu, Abuja and Chris Njoku, OwerriPRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Monday urged President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof George Obiozor, to be a unifying force beyond your immediate constituency.He congratulated the former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States (U.S.), saying his election was deserved.President Buhari, in a statement by his spokesman Mallam Garba Shehu, said: Given Prof. Obiozors rich background, especially in international affairs and pan-Nigerian commitment, I have little doubt that his election is well-deserved and will serve not only the interest of Ndigbo but also that of his fatherland.We need all hands to be on deck for this country to move forward in peace and unity.The President wished the former Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Director-General a successful tenure.The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) extolled the leaders of the Southeast for their democratic credentials as shown in the successful Ohanaeze election.The party, in a statement by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, described Obiozor is a seasoned administrator, excellent diplomat, courageous nationalist.It said the new Ohanaeze leader was a firm voice in the fight for the entrenchment of democratic tenets of the rule of law, social justice, equity, fairness, mutual respect, true federalism and a credible electoral process in our country.The statement added: The PDP notes the choice of Prof. Obiozor to lead the Ohaneze Ndigbo at this critical time in the history of our nation, particularly given his doggedness in fighting for constitutional all-inclusiveness as well as the elimination of all forms of social injustice, divisiveness, nepotism, sectional marginalisation, constitutional violations and disregard for the sensibilities of the Nigerian people.Our party, therefore, urges Prof. Obiozor to use his new assignment to further rally compatriots in our collective determination to rescue our nation from misrule and return her to the path of peace, national cohesion, mutual respect, adherence to the rule of law, social justice credible elections, economic prosperity and political stability.The PDP commends the outgoing leadership of the Ohaneze Ndigbo led by Chief John Nwodo, for a very fruitful tenure and urges the new leadership to continue on the path of success already laid by successive leadership of the organisation.Ekweremadu, Abaribe, Kalu greet new excoAlso on Monday, the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, hailed the election of Obiozor and Okey Emuchay as Secretary-General.In a statement by his spokesman, Uchenna Awom, Senator Abaribe said the choices of Obiozor and Emuchay were heartwarming and would sustain the past executives progressive trajectory.According to him, Obiozor is widely respected for his track record of excellence, honour, intellectual capacity and courage in public servicequalities that greatly qualify him as the preferred choice to lead the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation.The lawmaker is hopeful that the new Ohanaeze leader will inject such attributes to further reinvigorate and build an activist-driven Ohanaeze in the face of current realities in Nigeria.I am confident that the new executive members, known for their consummate love for the Igbo race, particularly the President-General, who has been at the frontline in articulating the interest of Ndigbo, will continue to exhibit courage and forthrightness in not only pursuing our collective interest in Nigeria but also to weave Ndigbo as a nation bonded in love, peace and unity, Abaribe said.The Minority Leader advised other contestants who are also eminently qualified to accept the outcome of the election and look at the bigger picture of unity in the pursuit of the interest of Ndigbo.Deputy Senate President and Leader of the Southeast Caucus, Ike Ekweremadu, also congratulated Obiozor, saying the new Ohanaeze leader has what it takes to lead Ndigbo.The Senator, in a statement by his spokesman, Uche Anichukwu, described Obiozor as a man of uncommon pedigree, unimpeachable integrity as well as a bridge-builder with national and international clout and appeal.He believes Obiozor, Emuchay and other members of the executive will constitute a formidable and dependable team for harnessing and advancing Igbo interest worldwide at this crucial time in our history.Ekweremadu added: They have proven their mettle over the years and we trust them to bring their antecedents of quality leadership, national and international reach, and diplomatic finesse to bear in advancing the Igbo course in Nigeria and globally.While urging Ndigbo to pray for the new leadership, Ekweremadu, however, enjoined Obiozor and his team to rally everyone.He noted that more than ever before, Ndigbo needed to unite and speak with one voice. He wished them a successful and historic tenure.Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu, wished the new President-General success in his new role.He urged Ndigbo in Nigeria and abroad to close ranks in a bid to advance their cause.Describing Obiozors victory as a timely and good development, Kalu stressed that the former diplomats pedigree and goodwill had earned him robust support from Ndigbo worldwide.Reaffirming his confidence in the new executive committee, he noted that Ndigbo are blessed with personalities across various fields of human endeavour.Kalu urged Ndigbo everywhere to participate in the political process to reposition the Southeast in national politics.According to him, the future of the Southeast is bright under President Buhari.Kalu said: The emergence of Prof. Obiozor is not a surprise to me, owing to the new President-Generals rich and intimidating profile.He has over the years built and sustained relationships locally and internationally.He said that Obiozor had the wherewithal to advance the cause of Ndigbo in a united and indivisible Nigeria.Ikimi, Moghalu greet ObiozorFormer Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, said Prof Obiozor is eminently prepared for this challenging leadership role by virtue of his distinguished track record as a scholar and public servant of our country.The former presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) added in a statement: As Nigerias Ambassador to the United States, Israel and Cyprus at different times, as a former Director-General of the NIIA and as a professor of international relations, Obiozor possesses the requisite leadership experience, global exposure and intellectual pedigree for the socio-cultural leadership of Ndigbo at this critical period in Nigerias quest for nationhood.I am confident his leadership of Ohaneze will foster an emphasis on strategic thinking and action, positive value systems to govern Igbo society, as well as effective partnerships with other ethnic nationalities to build a nation anchored on equality, justice and equity.Former Minister of External Affairs and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tom Ikimi, also felicitated with Prof. Obiozor on his election.He said the eminent scholar will use his wealth of experience and vast network to advance the cause of the Igbo nation.In a congratulatory message, Ikimi said the Igbo nation made a better choice with Obiozors election at this crucial period in national history.He said the Igbos quest to play a significant role in Nigeria will materialise under the leadership of Obiozor, who has over the years established very robust contacts across the country.Ikimi also congratulated the outgoing President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, on the completion of an exciting and eventful tenure.He said: I have received with utmost pleasure the news of the election of Ambassador George Obiozor as the new President General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.The Igbo nation could never have made a better choice, particularly at this time of our nations evolution other than this erudite scholar and exquisite diplomat, who has earned my respect over the past three to four decades of our association.Igbo unity non-negotiableThe newly-elected National Vice-President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, said the organisation would work hard to preserve Igbo unity.He said one of the major agenda of the new executive is the realisation of a president of Igbo extraction in 2023.He told our correspondent on Awka, the Anambra State capital, that they would also work towards securing Igboland.Okeke-Ogene said he was not bothered about disaffections and the emergence of a parallel group, saying it was the beauty of democracy.He said: We aim to unite Ndigbo to become one entity and we have started that.We want to make sure that IPOB will not be seen as a terrorist group because of some elements in it. They are not; that tag should be discardedOur priority is to pursue the Igbo agenda of producing the president of Nigeria in 2023. Ndigbo are not going to relent on that. We are serious.Okeke-Ogene, former President of Ohanaeze in Anambra State, took over from Chief Charles Odunukwe.
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