A senior lecturer in the department of History and International Relations of Imo State University, Owerri, Jerry Chinedu Woko, Ph.D has advised Imo leaders to eschew sentiments and political favoritism in the choice of the next President of Ohaneze Ndigbo as the current President, Chief Nnia Nwodo, serves out his tenure soon.
Woko’s advice is coming on heels of reports that the plum position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been zoned to Imo State. Already, a whole lot of Imo leaders have indicated interest to contest among who include; Chief Ikedi Ohakim, Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, Jude Ejiogu and a host of others.
Speaking to our reporter, yesterday through a phone chat, Dr Woko, a specialist in “Peace and Conflict Resolution”, studies averred that the Ohaneze Ndigbo has got another opportunity in history to right the wrongs of our past leaders through the forthcoming election of the Union, advising that only an Igbo nationalist can meet the yearnings of the people and not a card carrying member of any political party.
According to him, the socio-cultural union ought to be a rallying point for every Igbo man, irrespective of political party. “As a people, we have faced so many challenges over the years as a result of betrayals from our leaders”.
“For a country that stands on a tripod, namely; Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa ethnic nationalities, yet since 1960, no Igbo man has been President of the country. We are treated like second class citizens which must stop.To redress this anomaly is a great task for Ohanaeze Ndigbo. The Leadership must be made up of Technocrats who will place Igbo Interest far above personal interest”, Woko advised.
Continuing, Woko recalled how Nnamdi Azikiwe and other Igbo Nationalists, fought to keep Nigeria United, saying that Ndigbo have made more sacrifices in Nigerian project more than other major ethic regions. He described Igbo man as the most patriotic, stating that until an Igbo man becomes President of Nigeria, “things will never change”.
He called on stakeholders of Imo State whose duty it is to recommend or appoint next president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to avoid sentiment in penciling down who becomes next President of the socio-cultural organization.
When asked the chances of an Igbo man to become Nigerian President by 2023,Ihitte Uboma born senior lecturer said, “is an achievable project as long as the Igbos put their house in order and being able to identify their true leaders who will not betray them”.