The Secretary-General of the Chidi Ibeh-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro has declared that the apex Igbo group was not receiving any form of patronage from politicians.
He spoke amidst claims that the group was being funded by Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi.
Speaking to newsmen in Enugu on Wednesday, Isiguzoro said he had no dealings with Umahi or the Ebonyi State Government, as no such contact was ever established.
“We have never received support from the Ebonyi State Government,” he said, adding that he was aware that the Governor of Ebonyi “wants Ohanaeze Ndigbo to be united in all circumstances; he also wants Ndigbo to believe that President Buhari has been fair to the South-East. But, he has never used a kobo to sponsor what we are doing.”
He vowed that the Ohanaeze would “continue to pursue the collective interests of our people above all personal considerations.
“At the appropriate time, we will clearly define the way forward for Ndigbo, and Igbo leadership. We are committed to providing purposeful leadership to Ndigbo at all times and we will continue to abide by the rules of engagement and trust bestowed on us by Ndigbo.”
He, however, lamented what he called the desperate efforts by certain elements to politicize Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
“We are returning Ohanaeze Ndigbo to her original status quo devoid of any influence of politicians who have destroyed it.
“Ohanaeze died in 1984 because Igbo politicians used the platform for political purposes and the group lost its integrity and significance in the eyes of Igbos. It took Prof Ben Nwabueze to restore the organization on track as the apex socio-cultural organization.
“Ohanaeze was again involved in miscarriage of justice in 2003 and died again in 2007, in 2015 and 2019 after the miscalculations and open endorsements for Jonathan and Atiku ahead of Buhari.
“It’s high time we returned Ohanaeze to her glory days of honour as the pride of Ndigbo and as a socio-cultural group, not a political organization where the highest bidder will make use of the Igbo platform for political purposes.
“’Henceforth, Ohanaeze will remain apolitical, neutral and allow the South-East Governors to do the collective bargaining for Igbo political interest,” he stated.