OHANEZE Ndigbo has raised alarm over the emergence of a new group. The alleged splinter sprang up within the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, came under fire on Tuesday for seeking “undue” recognition.
The new group, led by a lawyer, Basil Onuorah, announced that it had been registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
It named the traditional ruler of Igbariam, Igwe Kelly Nzekwe, as its Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman.
Onuorah named his group the Restructured Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly Worldwide.
But the spokesman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Uche Achi-Okpagha, was of the view that the splinter group was looking for cheap popularity ahead of the 2023 general election.
He said: “It is trivial. There are so many names you can register with, but they are seeing Ohanézè as a brand name and they want to capitalise on that to achieve cheap publicity.
“What is the essence of saying they have registered Ohanézè General Assembly? What does that mean?
“So, you just wake up and register an umbrella body of the entire Ndigbo worldwide. Who has given you the mandate to do so?
“The CAC has just announced the withdrawal of the registration. I think it messes up the entire system.
“You know 2023 is getting closer and they want a stepping stone. They want to use Ohanézè to attract attention. But they do not know that notoriety is not popularity,” he said.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing Worldwide National Publicity Secretary, Osmond Nkeoma, said Ohanaeze Ndigbo does not have a splinter group.
“The CAC has withdrawn their name because they did not meet the standard. They are trying to cause trouble.
“The only recognised Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the one under the leadership of Chief John Nnia Nwodo,” he said.
Nkeoma urged Nigerians and Ndigbo to disregard the group.
“The young men are being used to foment trouble in Igboland but they have failed this time around,” he said.
The Ohanaeze Youth Wing said the splinter group was being used by outsiders to scuttle the Igbo 2023 presidential project.
Its Deputy President, Dr Kingsley Dozie, said the group was bent on seeing that the Igbo are not united in their clamour for 2023 presidency.
“We know them and we know where they are coming from. They are out to cause a problem for Ndigbo because of 2023.
“But they will never succeed. Ndigbo are united under Chief Nnia Nwodo’s leadership. We are more united now than ever.
“We can assure you that we are ready to resist any group or elements that will attempt to jeopardise the 2023 Igbo presidency project.
“We are not afraid of them. Let them come on board and let’s see how and where it will end.”
One of the founding fathers of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Charles Amilo, said the splinter group was trying to cause confusion.