The Board of Trustees (BOT) and Stakeholders of Orluzurumee Youth Assembly (OYA), which is the highest decision making organ of the organization, on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, met in Owerri and suspended Comrade Darlington Uzoahia and Ebere Okeke, who before then were President and Secretary respectively of the Assembly. They also mandated the Vice President of the Assembly to take over the affairs with immediate effect, with a mandate of reconciling all the warring factions of the body.

The meeting which was presided over by Hon Stephen Anugwom had 5 out of the 7 BOT members including the Chairman and Secretary in attendance. The deliberations lasted over 5 hours after which far reaching decisions were taken on the way forward, in line with the collective interest of the zone.

According to a communiqué issued after the emergency meeting which was signed by the Secretary of the BOT, Hon Chikezie Oguejiofor and 17 others, the suspension followed series of petitions from members of the union which had led to factionalization of Orluzurumee Youth Assembly. As a result of what the highest decision making body described as lack of transparency and due process on the side of the President who is said to have sidelined all his executives except the Secretary, Ebere Okeke, the decision to suspend the duo was unanimously adopted.

The BOT/stakeholders of the Assembly however regretted that those charged with the responsibility of piloting the affairs of the union, used it for selfish political gains, instead of consolidating the gains of the founding members by uniting the zone. They were accused of abandoning the constitution of the body which stipulates in article 11, paragraph 5 that “on no account should the National Working Committee (NWC) of the union, politicize the Assembly for political gains. The Union, though interested in politics, but is not partisan”.

They distanced the body from the purported endorsement of Chief Ikedi Ohakim, the Accord governorship candidate for the 2019 election stating that, “As a socio-cultural group, we are not in the business of endorsing candidates. The Orluzurumee Youth Assembly is for the unity and development of all Orlu people. Those who seek elective positions, should go to Orlu and campaign, not to seek endorsement from a socio-cultural organization”, the release added.

The release further condemned a statement credited to Darlington Uzoahia that he has ordered Orlu sons and daughters contesting for governorship position to withdraw from the race, and this is at a time, the Orlu Elders Council and parent body of Orluzurumee, have maintained that they will only support credible candidate, though with preference to Owerri and Okigwe but where the two zones fail to harmonize on who to support, Orlu people will have no option than to look inwards for an alternative.

The statement reads in part, “we can’t run faster than our shadow. We can’t narrow governorship to a particular zone or person when our elders have been consulting seriously on how to liberate Imo State from the shackles of bad governance”. Continuing, the body cautioned politicians to play by the rules as politics will come and go but the people will remain.

Prominent among those who signed the release include; Sixtus Okechukwu, Henry Anusiowu, Collins Ogbonna, Swenny Onyenze, Chibuike Odunze, Precious Nwadike, Ugochukwu Okoro and host of others.