Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has shortlisted some eminent Igbo personalities for awards of honour.
Some of the nominees include the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi; the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.
Others include Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu; Sen. Uche Ekwunife and former Chief of Army Staff, Retired Lt.-General Azubuike Ihejirika.
Equally penciled for the award are the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Prof. Greg Ibe; Chairman, Innoson Group of Companies, Chief Innocent Chukwuma; and Chief Executive Officer, Peace Mass Transit, Chief Samuel Onyishi; amongst others.
Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the award ceremony, Chief Charles Amah, who disclosed this during a press conference in Umuahia, Abia State, said the award ceremony was in recognition of the quality contributions of the proposed awardees.
The Ohanaeze chieftain said that posthumous awards would also be given to late Deputy Governor of Abia, Dr Chima Nwafor; Sen. Uche Chukwumerije and a foremost traditional ruler, Eze Bernard Enweremadu.
He said that the nominees were illustrious Igbo personalities who had proven their mettle in different facets of life.
“These are men and women who have continued to lift the image of Ndigbo with their superlative achievements in local and global arena.
“It cannot be disputed that they are accomplished in all spheres of life and have contributed to the emancipation of Igboland,” Amah said.
Chief Amah said that other highlights of the event, slated for tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov 29) included the inauguration of the new Abia executive, led by the state President, Chief Okey Nwankwo, for a four-year single term.
The Ohanaeze chieftain urged the media to stop giving media attention to impostors parading as Ohanaeze leaders.
He said that anyone not loyal to Professor George Obiozor-led leadership of Ohanaeze is an impostor, and should be discountenanced.
Responding to a question on the position of Ohanaeze on the much talked-about Abia Charter of Equity, the Ohanaeze said it would not be involved in local politics.
He said that Ohanaeze believed in power rotation for equity but would not like to be involved in local politics of various states.
He said that Ohanaeze strongly supported power move to the South-East based on equity, however, it would want states in the South-East to handle their local power sharing arrangements.