Thursday, 19 January 2017

We want Kalu released unconditionally—Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo

By Okechukwu Onuegbu
New Anambra Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership flanked by Mbazulike Amechi

R-L, Okeke Ogene, Mbazulike Amechi and Jab Okolo

Hope seemed to have risen for the immediate release of Nnamdi Kalu, the unlawfully detained leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Radio Biafra as the newly elected executive of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, an apex socio-cultural pressure group of Southeasterners have vowed to speak out for him.

Kalu, it would be recalled, had been in detention without trial since his arrest by Department of Security Services (DSS) in 2015.

Damian Okeke Ogene, who disclosed this in a welcome address upon his inauguration as President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter, explained that his administration would agitate for Kalu’s unconditional release with all that is available in their disposal because he committed no crime for seeking Biafra.

“Every Igbo man without the spirit of Biafra is a Fulani man. We must back Kalu in this trying period. I, myself will strive for his unconditional release because he committed no crime. He was not caught with guns and ammunitions. That is why we, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo will give him all the legal backing to be freed.

“But one thing our people must understand is that the person holding him there is not an Igbo man. President Buhari is not an Igbo man. So, ours is to continue advocating for his freedom. We shall use all various medium available to us. International community will come to our aide if he refuses to hearken to us” Ogene added.

On what his administration would mostly focus on, Ogene said; “We shall focus our attention on equity, justice and fairness. The like minds have come to power. The change has come. We will address all the issues affecting Ndi Igbo. Our problem is the federal government. Look at the way President Buhari is making his appointment. Look at our roads, schools, all the federal institutions in the Southeast zone is not functional. We can’t close eyes over these issues of great concern.

“But we can’t do it alone. This is not one man affairs. Everyone must join hand. Therefore, we shall embark on massive sensitisation of our people to understand this and rally round us to achieve better result”.

Ogene further noted that the apex Igbo group will not endorse any candidate on the forthcoming Anambra gubernatorial poll, although they will play a vital role to ensuring emergency of a credible person as governor in a free and fair election.

On his part, Joe Achuzie, the former Biafran warlord, who witnessed the peaceful election, commended the delegates for their conduct, even as he tasked the new executive on team work and unity in diversity, which he believed would help them to achieve positive result.

Also speaking, Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, represented by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Political matter, Arinzechukwu Awogu, said that “Anambra State government is happy for the way and manner the election was held. Electing Ogene to pilot the affairs of Ohanaeze in the next four years shows that he is the right choice for the exalted position. What our government requires of this new executive is a responsive Ohanaze Ndigbo. We want you to seek the needs and aspirations of Igbo people. We want you to think Igbo, act Igbo, and behave Igbo. We want you to uphold the principle of atumatu Ndi Igbo are known for. You should not forget to work in synergy with the state government to move the state and Igbo nation forward”.

Speaking earlier, Chris Eluemuno, the immediate past President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter, announced that his administration enjoyed the cooperation of Igbo governors, and urged the new executive to sustain the tempo with a view to recording meaningful achievement. reports that others elected to pilot the affairs of the group for four years were Jap Okolo, Deputy President General; Nwankwo Ezie N, Secretary General; Nweke Samuel, Social Welfare Secretary; Obinna Obechi, State Treasurer; Ifeabunike Somadina, Financial Secretary; Onuegbu Azubuike, Assitant Financial Secretary.

Others were Ekpunibe Rose, Women Leader; Emmanuel Obiajulu, Organising Secretary; Asiegbu Anthony, Assistant Organising Secretary; Okpalaezeukwu Chukwuma, Youth President; Odiama Nnamdi, Publicity Secretary; Samuel O., Legal Adviser; Ekwunife Chinedu, Assistant Legal Adviser.



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