BY RALPH EJIMKONYE
Three presidential aspirants vying for the presidency of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, have quit the contest.
The presidential election to elect a new President of the apex Igbo pan organization, had been mired in controversy leading to the emergence of several factions.
A faction of the group had announced Mr. Chidi Ibeh, a former Commissioner in Imo State as its President General.
Prof George Obiozor, backed by the two Governors of APC extraction in the South East, Senator Hope Uzodimma and Mr. Dave Umahi of Imo and Ebonyi States respectively, is expected to emerge winner of a Presidential election of the organization scheduled to hold at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri on January 10.
Obiozor was adopted as consensus candidate for Imo State for the position, which was zoned to the State in line with the rotation policy of the organization.
First to announce his withdrawal from the contest is Dr. Chidi Osuagwu.
Osuagwu told newsmen in Owerri, Saturday, that he withdrew from the contest because of the shoddy manner the processes leading to the election was conducted.
“A 419 election for Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo is unacceptable. Igbo nation cannot move forward this way” Osuagwu told journalists.
He said the Ime obi made up of stakeholders of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo decided to suspend the election because of the bizarre manner it is handled.
“We were compelled to purchase forms for N500, 000 which, to some of us, is very strange and this shows that the election processes was handled in such a bizarre manner. There were no follow up guidelines for the election and this created a lot of problems
“The Ime Obi leaders expressed disappointment over this development and suggested that the leadership of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, be handed over to the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, which will run the affairs of the organization for two months before a fresh election is held” he said
Prof Jeo Nworgu, a former Secretary General of the organization, reportedly withdrew from the contest.
A source close to the former Commissioner in Imo State told this newspaper, that the professor withdrew from the election organized by the Hope Uzodinmma backed faction of Ohanaeze
Dr. Chris Asoluka, also announced his withdrawal from the contest.
In a post titled “Asoluka Exits Ohanaeze PG Race” seen on his verified face book page, Asoluka wrote “Recall that in my release of 8/1/2021, I pointed out certain anomalies in the handling of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo 2021 election process with hope that NEC would intervene to summon emergency Imeobi to redeem the situation.
“It is now obvious that either NEC does not possess the will to rescue our dear Ohanaeze or it is complicit.
“I hereby notify all of my decision not to participate any further.
“I thank Ndigbo and my supporters while reassuring all of my sincere appreciation for the love, goodwill, time and support.
“May we all stay safe and may 2021 be our year of good health and recovery of lost glory.