Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has emerged the new President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.
The Imo State-born elder statesman was until now, the Chairman of Ohanaeze Council of Elders.
He stepped in as a replacement for the late Ohanaeze President, Professor George Obiozor, from Imo State.
He is to complete the Imo State tenure of the office which rotates among all seven Igbo-speaking states of Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Delta and Rivers.
The emergence of Chief Iwuanyanwu was contained in a press statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Alex Ogbonnia.
The statement made available to Ikengaonline read in part: “Chief Dr. Engr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, CFR, OFR, MFR, GCSI, FNSE, FNIST, FNICE, KSC (Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo), the Chairman, Council of Elders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been selected as a replacement to Ambassador George Obiozor who died in 2022.
“In line with a doctrine of necessity, the NEC had at the demise of Ambassador Professor George Obiozor directed the people of Imo State to find a credible replacement of Obiozor for the post of President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.
“A press release dated April 19, 2023, signed by Mr Oguwike Nwachuku, the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor of Imo State, stated that the Imo State Council of Elders, led by Eze Ilomuanya presented Chief Iwuanyanwu to the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, as “the consensus candidate of the Council for the post of the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.”
Eze Ilomuanya described Iwuanyanwu as a “dynamic, versatile, purpose driven and broad-minded personality of impeccable pedigree.”
“Before now, Iwuanyanwu is one of the finest amongst the Igbo; a philanthropist par excellence, massive employer of labour, robust creative thinker, brave soldier, accomplished engineer, astute business mogul, industrialist and sagacious politician.”
The statement further said that President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, is expected to be economically stable and viable.
“He should have a presidential stature and clout. He should have robust intellect and a mind of his own. The president General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo must detach himself from any governor and should have the courage and moral authority to reproach or condemn a governor or any high office holder who goes against the Igbo interest or public norms.
“The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo must show capacity in many respects. He should have the courage and convictions to channel Igbo interests to the President of Nigeria without compromises. He should place Igbo interest above self interest. He should be large enough or should have the tentacles that will incorporate the Igbo elements in the South-South of Nigeria and other sundry places.
The person must have contributed his quota in diverse forms in promoting the Igbo heritage.
“The President General of Ohanaeze must not only understand the intricate and labyrinthine political dynamics of Nigeria but must have sufficient political and business contacts across Nigeria and beyond; in other words, he should understand the nuances of governments at all levels. It is important to add that reverence to age is part of our culture and to that extent, the person must have an elderly disposition up enough to command the allegiance of most. More importantly, the president general must have been an active participant in the Ohanaeze activities. And more, Chief Iwuanyanwu fits in squarely into the above prerequisites.”
Providing a historical background of the new Ohanaeze helmsman, the statement further read: “There was a time in history, Iwuanyanwu was the highest employer of labour in the entire East of the Niger. The Iwuanyanwu Foundation has offered scholarships to over ten thousand indigent students across the country. He has donated to universities to create conducive environments for learning; built Churches and other community facilities.
“Over forty years ago, Chief Sam Mbakwe, the former governor of Old Imo State conceived the idea of an International Cargo Airport at Owerri, it was Iwuanyanwu who made the highest donation of Two million Dollars (2M US Dollars), among others. In politics, he has produced several Chairmen of Local Governments, Commissioners, Senators, Ministers and Governors most of whom are alive. In 1992, he contested for the presidency of Nigeria with an impressive supports from all parts of Nigeria.”
The statement thanked the Imo State Council of Elders led by Eze Ilomuanya for the painstaking rigorous procedure in reaching such a landmark decision of selecting Iwuanyanwu as a sole replacement for the late Obiozor.
It also urged the members of Imeobi Ohanaeze Ndigbo to endorse the decision of the Imo State Council of Elders in good faith.