Nwodo, Okwukwu suspended as Atiku endorsement tears Ohanaeze apart

Atiku Abubakar

Atiku Abubakar

The president of Ohaneze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, yesterday, announced a 7-day suspension of the Secretary General, Uche Okwukwu, following his dismissal of the endorsement of the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, as the preferred candidate of the South-East.

According to the group’s president, the suspended scribe, who was aware of the supremacy of the Imo Obi meeting, went against the resolutions, which amounted to an act of insubordination against the collective agreement of Ndigbo on the general election.

Atiku Abubakar endorsed by Nwodo
Atiku Abubakar

The president had said in a statement: “These actions having taken place in the public domain and reported copiously in the mass media, NEC in an overwhelming majority decision after confronting Barr. Okwukwu has resolved as follows.

“That Barr. Uche Okwukwu is from this day, Thursday, 31 January 2019, suspended from his office as Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and membership of all organs of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

“He stands suspected from the organization and his position as Secretary General of the organisation is one that is the Secretariat of Ohaneze and he is expected to be above board.” But less than 24 hours after that announcement, the Secretary General, Uche Okwukwu, in turn, announced the indefinite suspension of Nwodo as President-General.

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“I have been suspended for seven days because of my stand on the falsehood he made public saying that the body has endorsed Atiku Abubakar when we never endorsed anybody,” Okwukwu said. “Today, rising from the meeting of Imo Obi Ohanaeze Ndigbo, we announce the suspension of Chief John Nwodo from the organisation indefinitely.

“To that effect, a nine man panel had been set up, headed by Mr Richard Ozobu to investigate acts of misconduct and abuse of office and bringing Ohaneze into public disgrace. “The body has one month to submit their report to the organisation and we take it from there. The suspended president claimed to have endorsed Atiku Abubakar which is not true,” he added.

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Earlier, the Anambra State Government had described the actions of Nwodo as most regrettable. The state’s Commissioner for Information, Chief C Don Adinuba, said: “We want to make it clear that we are saddened deeply by the fact that the leadership displayed absolute contempt for the person of great Zik of Africa, the most important person in the last three hundred years in Igbo land and indeed Africa.

“It’s extremely difficult to explain why the organisation decided to hold the Ime -Obi Ohaneze meeting on Thursday, January 24, the very day the whole nation was in Onitsha Anambra state to celebrate the great Zik of Africa. “Nwodo was not there, claiming that he was not officially invited and we wonder how, even when Mr President was to perform an important function in Igbo land.

“Nwodo forgot sadly that the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe is the only and first patron of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and he forgot that against all odds, Zik appointed his father a minister in his cabinet and also established University of Nigeria at his village, Nsukka instead of Onitsha.

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” When contacted, Nwodo dismissed his suspension by Okwukwu’s faction, insisting that it is null, void and of no effect. He contended that the Secretary General has no such powers to suspend him and that he remains the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo.

However, chairman of the nine-man panel to probe Nwodo, Richard Ozobu, confirmed the suspension of Chief John Nwodo, adding that he will be quizzed for gross misconduct, abuse of office and dragging the image of the organisation into disrepute as well as forging the communique of Ime Obi Ohaneze Ndigbo.

“We shall invite him to appear before the panel and explain to us why disciplinary actions should not be taken against him for those allegations,” Ozobu said.

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