BY: Nick Nwaneri, Calabar
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Cross River chapter has every cause to commend the government and people of the state as led by His Excellency, Prof. Sen. Ben Ayade for lifting the ban placed on it from holding or organising any fuctoon whatsoever, its President has said.
Recalled that the ban came few months ago following a petition written by its ex-president Barrister Ugorji Nwabueze alleging that it intended to inaugurate members of Indigenous People of Biafra during one of its Congress in Calabar.
The state governor, Prof. Ayade had directed his aides to investigate the allegations/petition with a view of sanctioning the Igbos in Cross River state, but their investigations proved the Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo innocent, hence the lifting up of the said ban order.
During its second Congress held at Gomez hotels along Atekong street, there was a sigh of relieve in both the Ohanaeze Executives, Ndi Nze Na Ozor, chapter chairman and other members who attended the congress. It was indeed a successful outing.
After thorough investigation, the Governor also in a letter dated February 4th, 2022 ref. SSG/SSO/35/Vol.IX/295 and signed by E. O. Etah, for Permanent secretary, said ” I have the directives of the permanent secretary to inform you that through Start government was informed that some unknown Igbo persons were alleged of planning to cause anarchy, confusion and crisis with IPOB to disrupt public peace and security in Calabar”.
“The climax of it was to coronate one Chief Emmanuel Ezenwunyi, as Eze Ndi Igbo, Cross River state, on October 2nd, 2021 at Gomez Event Centre at Atekong street, Calabar, it added”.
Government frowned seriously at this move which was capable of rupturing the peace and harmony of this state and banned Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo community/Ohanaeze from holding any meeting anywhere in Cross River state, the letter noted”.
“It further went on to state, “after exhaustive investigation by this office in collaboration with othe Security agencies including the Council of Obong of Calabar,on the same matter, it was discovered that the allegation was not only false, but was intended to blackmail the newly elected leaders of Ohanaeze Igbo community in the state”.
Therefore, it stated, “consequent upon this, His Excellency, the governor of Cross River state, has directed that the ban be lifted with effect from the date of this letter and Igbo people to be allowed to hold their meetings freely in Cross River state”.
The Congress resolved that the lifting of the ban was received by the Congress as a sign of cordial relationship on the part of the government and people of Cross River state.,
It commended Gov.Born Ayade specifically on the personal interest hr showed in quashing the said petition against Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo/Igbo Community.
Addressing participants at the Ohanaeze Ndigbo general meeting iCalabar, the President, High Chief Festus Odoemena, welcomed members and expressed gratitude to God for a successful meeting.
He said the aims of the Organization are predominantly for the promotion and emancipation of our rich cultural values, and defense of our economic interests among others as a non political organization”.
Chief Odoemena used the occasion to commend Eze Ndigbo in Cross River state, Sir, Emmanuel A. Ezenwenyi, KSS, Ksm, JP, President of Igbo Community iCalabar, Sir Obi Oyeka, and others too numerous to mention for making this meeting a success. The executive appreciates you for all your contributions.
He, however, regretted that the quarterly general meeting could have held in October 2021, but for the unfortunate incidence involving petition against Ohanaeze Ndigbo by former President of this organization.
The President said “thank God today, the said petition has been overlooked and the ban on Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been lifted as we are back, focus and more united”.
He commended His Excellency, Prof. Ben Ayade for all his support he rendered so far to the Igbos in the state, assuming him of our support and cooperation to his administration.
The highlight of the general meeting was the amicable resolution of Obubra chapter where elections has been agreed to hold to elect leaders, registration of Obanliku chapter and the successful handover note by the former Secretary general, Prince Alozie Ugochukwu to the new Executives.