As the Igbo continue the clamour for 2023 presidency, the emergence of a new group, Ohanaeze General Assembly, has been described as plot to destabilise Ndigbo.
Speaking with Saturday Sun, the National Publicity Secretary of the pro-Igbo body, Uche Achi-Opaga, said the new group will fizzle out as it came, because it doesn’t have foundation.
According to him, “calling them a splinter group is even giving them some kind of hype; they are just looking for recognition because Ohanaeze is the umbrella body of the Igbo worldwide, it is a brand name. So, they want to identify with it in order to be seen or heard; if they have given themselves any other name, nobody would have taken notice of them; they added the name ‘Ohanaeze’ in order to attract attention. Gradually, they may be said to be achieving their aim as they are using that name to climb to limelight. It is just childish that at this point in time, the people that are matured could engage in this kind of puerile and pedestrian activity.
“As 2023 is approaching, people want to put their hands here and there in order to put things together and climb. I keep telling people that notoriety is not popularity; they are just being notorious in this kind of act. What they are doing is laughable.”
While affirming that it was a plot to destabilise the Igbo, he warned Igbo politicians to learn what has happened in the Southwest, “where the person who thought he was the alpha and omega in a party has been displaced, in spite of the warnings by senior citizens and leaders from that region.”
On the allegation by the group that the mainstream Ohanaeze has turned to a political tool in the hands of greedy politicians, Achi-Opaga, retorted, “what do you expect them to say? Once you want to achieve your mischievous aim, you will give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Where would they lay their hands if they don’t say such a thing? If you say Ohanaeze has been politicized; how has it been politicized? Ohanaeze is moving forward on its stand; we stand for restructuring, and we have been singing it as a song that until Nigeria is restructured it will continue to be like a stationery machine, all motion and no movement.”
On if the new group was being sponsored by an internal or external influence, Achi-Opaga stated that, “nothing is impossible, especially in Nigeria; nothing goes for nothing. Our people say, if you see a bird dancing on the road, there is someone in the bush beating the drums for it. So, it can’t be completely wrong if you say they are being sponsored. What they are doing is childish, meaningless. Their attempt to try to destabilise Ohanaeze is meaningless. We have tenure, and at the end of it, another set of executives would come in, and continue from where its predecessors stopped. If you want to be an executive of Ohanaeze, you have the chance to do so by presenting yourself during election next year, when the tenure of the present executives expires, and state what you have to offer, but trying to balkanize it is very pedestrian.”