The manner the election of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide was conducted augurs well for Igbo unity ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) and the Concerned Imo Stakeholders Forum Worldwide (CISFW), said Wednesday.
The groups hailed elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, for rallying support from eminent Igbo leaders, which led to the election of the President-General, Prof George Obiozor.
The groups also praised Southeast governors for leading by example in their unanimous support of Obiozor.
Speaking in separate interviews with The Nation, President General of COSEYL, an umbrella body of all the youth organisations in the Southeast, Goodluck Ibem, and Director-General of CISFW, Edede Franklyn, said the best man got the Ohanaeze top job.
Ibem said: “We are happy that at this stage in the life of Ndigbo, people like Chief Iwuanyanwu did not abandon their people. He stood firm to ensure that Ndigbo will chart a new way forward.
“We’re happy he led personalities, irrespective of their political leanings, made up of religious leaders, traditional rulers and other groups, to ensure that Obiozor, who possesses intimidating credentials, emerged victorious.
“We want to also appreciate our governors and ministers for being on one page for the first time over the affairs of Ndigbo. If they continue like this, there’s nothing Ndigbo cannot achieve politically.”
He added that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo election was proof that Ndigbo had many more victories ahead.
For Franklyn, the election was a test of Ndigbo’s strength ahead of future outings, especially as it concerns 2023 elections.
The Igbo, he stated, needed a direction from such an experienced diplomat like Obiozor as a leader going into 2023.
The outcome of the election, he added, proved that Ndigbo remained strong, united and had leaders who continuously think for the future of their people.
“The seat of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo President-General is not like that of a political party or youth organisation. It’s a fraternity that the highest masquerade should be allowed to dance it.
“So, I commend Igbo leaders and all who made the choice of Obiozor possible,” Edede said.
Senator Andy Uba congratulated Prof Obiozor on his election, saying he is a round peg in a round hole.
He said he had no doubt the man, considering his wealth of experience, would serve the interest of the Igbo people both home and abroad.
He called on all Ndigbo to speak with one voice and give the new President-General the needed support so that he could succeed.
According to the politician and businessman, Obiozor is a man of unblemished character, who has always represented the people well in all the positions he has occupied in the past.
He urged him to quickly hit the ground running, stressing that the former Ambassador to the United States has all it takes to meet the expectations of the Igbo people.
Uba said: “I do not doubt that his wealth of experience would pave the way for the progress of the Igbo as a people and further unite Nigerians across ethnic, regional and religious lines. We all respect him as a man of integrity.
“I heartily congratulate him on his deserved election. It is a victory for the Ndigbo and victory for Nigeria. I also congratulate all the contestants who slugged it out with him; they are all winners.”
Uba also commended the former President-General, Chief John Nwodo, on a successful tenure.