By Dr. Evans Osagimo (Chairman Eze Selection Committee)
Some intrigue made the organisation of an election of an Eze of Amohuru Community rather urgent. There was a plan to impose an Eze on Amohuru Community by a clique who called themselves ‘Stakeholders’ or ‘Concerned Citizens’ led by Nze Chukwuma Nwachukwu a retired permanent secretary. The former President-General of Amohuru Development Union, Mazi Jude Ezeakolam Osuji now Secretary of Community Government Council had to take the bull by the horns by letting government know that Amohuru Community at Aladimma had scheduled elections for 24 day of August 2013. This group of citizens of Amohuru had contrived to surreptitiously enthrone the immediate past president of Amohuru Development Union by hoodwinking the community and literally stealing the Ezeship. This was checkmated by a publication denouncing the plotters of rape of the common will of the community. Their plans failed.
Arrangements for elections started with nominations of two members each from the five villages making up Amohuru Clan. The Eze Selection Committee elected their chairman, the author of this report, and the committee secretary, Mazi Jude Ozichukwu Chukwu. Screening of candidates who had met the requirements for candidacy was done. Mazi Anthony Anyanwu, who was being prepared by rapists of the common will, fractured our community by appealing to sentiments of two villages in the five-village clan resulting in diminished participation from that part of Amohuru. He did not register to contest. He sold the impression to his people that he was being denied Ezeship which had been conferred on him since 2011. He had been put up by one retired permanent secretary as an un-ambitious man who would deliver the autonomous community after processes for acquisition of autonomy shall have been completed in accordance with the Ezeship Constitution of the community. His section of the clan bought the culprit’s appeal for undeserved sympathy and had their majority boycott screening and elections. The election became a straight battle between three giants of the community.
An international businessman, Chief Philip Eke, who had provided scholarship to students in the past, was a main contender. He had returned from the USA to contest. He was popular for two reasons. He was targeted by the section that wanted to steal Ezeship by tricks. He was massively supported to win so that another intrigue could be hatched to nullify his election.
Nze Professor M A C Odu was the second contender. He had heavy credentials for support to Amohuru Community in the past having pioneered water and power projects and at various times protected the name of the community from miscreants of all kinds. He was least favoured in the dissident section of the clan.
Duru Azubike Ugochukwu hails from the dissident section of the clan. He is a traditional healer and diviner with a record of fighting criminals who attempted to invade Amohuru in 2010. He had gone after them with his gun and sent them scampering out of Amohuru with a fatally injured member of the gang. His people did not think anything about disenfranchising themselves and reducing their own son’s chances of becoming Eze.
The venue of the elections was Community Primary School Amohuru. Time proposed for commencement of elections was 9 a.m. on Saturday 24th August 2013. By 9 o’clock men women and youth over 18 started congregating. By 11 a.m. elections were underway.
A voting paper had been prepared by the Ezeship Selection Committee manifesting the photographs of all three contenders in accordance with their agreed rules. Voters were to thumbprint against the photo of the candidate of their choices. Option A4 which is secret open balloting system was promulgated as the modality for election of the Eze. Thumb printing was to be done in secret within close watch of security personnel but without prompting of any type. The crowd was to stay distant from thumb printing spot. Voters would after thumb printing proceed to cast their votes into a basket placed in the centre of the arena.
At about 12.30 pm all voters had completed voting. Counting of votes was done in full view of all members of the community. Heaps were formed of votes for each and all of the contenders. After collating and sorting out defective votes (votes that were described as voided by wrong thumb printing) the votes were counted in the open and entered in a result sheet. Announcement was made with a public address system and Nze Professor M A C Odu was announced as the candidate with five hundred and twenty-five votes. Chief Philip Eke came a distant second with two hundred and thirty-five votes. Duru Azubike Ugochukwu came third with eighty five votes. There were 18 void votes. The announcement of the result stirred wild jubilation and merriment in the community. The selection committee was commended for a hitch free and credible election which should be emulated by other communities countrywide.
The community evidently qualifies for three polling booths during forthcoming elections and beyond. This is not counting our numerous citizens outside the village in other settlements in Nigeria and in the Diaspora.


Igbo Presidency: The Only Way Forward

22 July 2013 at 19:25
I am one of the ardent supporters of Igbo president in Nigeria. My opinion was informed by my desire for justice and level playing field for all in Nigeria. I have believed that forgetting the past would help in fashioning the future. I now see how wrong my opinion was.

The clamour for Igbo presidency in Nigeria would not materialized till the contingent issues are resolved. My research has shown that when n issue that led to war is not treated justly, the war would not end. The inability of the Igbos to produce a president in Nigeria is due to their inability to resolve past but pending issues.

I want to suggest remedy to the debacle. This might be hard but its the only way forward. In my view we can not solve the Igbo issues in Nigeria without starting from the senate to address injustices against us. Agitation for the abrogation of the abandoned property decree, demand for restitution from the fed for that 20pounds injustice, political demand for the trial of all war criminals. Creation of equal states and demand for the exploration of the oil in Ebonyi, Imo and Anambra states. Till we start agitating for these Nigeria will not take us serious.

1. It would not amount to any treason by any standard if Ndigbo start agitating for a bill that would abrogate the abandoned property decree. The decree that legalized the confiscation of Igbo properties is unjust and should be discarded and discredited. Why has no Igboman raised this question at the federal level? It is only when injustices like this is addressed that Igbos would regain there respect in history’

2. How long would we pretend/act like the 20 pounds Awolowo gave us at the end of the war in 1970 did not hurt us? That was a criminal act, an organized robbery carried through government agency. If the Igbos were Jews no Igbo man would shake hands with Awoists. 20 pounds every Igbo man no matter how much you have in your account before the war. How come no Igbo man has raised the issue to the national conscience? Fear and selfish cravings. Ndigbo should drag the federal government to court to pay restitution or reparation to Igbo nation. It would take just one move before it become a national issue. Ndigbo have many academia, social groups, intellectuals, and education dons. How come then that Igbo issues are not being discussed in the international community. When would our redeemer come?

3. Why the imbalance in the creation of states? Why are the Igbos quite? Who would speak for us? Who shall I send, God seems to be asking. Are you an Igbo activist? Start now, you are being challenged. There you should be people questioning the injustices of the past. Jews received restitution, the Philippine sex slaves of the world war two are still receiving compensations, why is ours different.

4. Why are there no refineries in the SE? Who killed our prophets? Let the man arise that will advocate our cause. The agitation for Igbo presidency would not materialize till the above issues are addressed. The people tat subjected us to this misery will not redeem us without demanding it. Ndigbo are despised in Nigeria today because only Igbos can sleep comfortably in such terrific injustice. Ndigbo should start asking and demanding for their rights to be restored before aspiring to the presidency.

Those who oppress, and marginalize us cannot make us their leader or president. We need to address the issues of injustices first before clamuring for the presidency. As it is today Ndigbo are fast becoming a political endangered specie in Nigeria. Ndigbo are minority in all level of government in Nigeria. It is sorry to say Ndigbo has no member of the security council in Nigeria. Ndigbo is minority in Federal house of representatives, senate we are minority, we have the least positions in government, we have the least number of states in SE. The hard truth about this is that we will never win anything through majority voting. If these issues are not resolved, I wonder if an Igbo man would ever be president in Nigeria.
Onyema Uche