At last, the crises rocking the pan-Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has been resolved with the feuding parties agreeing to work together.
The leaders of the two factions, Dr. Ralph Obioha and Chief Gray Enwo-Igariwey, were brought to a roundtable in Owerri, the Imo State capital on Monday night by Governor Rochas Okorocha, where they agreed to sheathe their swords.
One of the highpoints of the meeting was the acceptance of Obioha to drop his claim to the leadership of the group and allow Enwo-Igariwey to function as the authentic President-General of Ohaneze.
A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemodo on the meeting, said the reconciliation of the two factions was held on Monday night between the two leaders, members of their respective executive councils and delegates from the states that make up Ohaneze, at the Government House Owerri, with Governor Okorocha presiding.
According to him, Dr. Obioha dropped all claims of being the authentic President-General of Ohaneze, and declared that he and his faction had accepted the leadership of Chief Igariwey as the President-General of Ohaneze, and Dr. Obioha’s declaration elicited jubilation in the Ndubuisi Kanu Exco Chambers, Government House, Owerri.
Among the agreements reached at the meeting are the extension of Chief Igariwey’s tenure by one year with a fresh election to be conducted at the expiration of the period to elect new leaders for the association.
It was also agreed that anyone suspended from the body in the course of the squabble between the two factions are to be recalled, while all the court cases occasioned by the dispute would be withdrawn.
Consequently, a 17-member committee was set up with Dr. Obioha as chairman to ensure the implementation of all that was agreed, including the issue of election while the governors in the South East zone will nominate one member into the committee.
Speaking on the development, Governor Okorocha expressed gladness that “the Ohaneze family is back as one. There is peace now in Ohaneze. The Ohaneze with Chief Igariwey as President-General is the umbrella body to champion the course of the Igbo. Today, we have proven to the world that the Igbo are their brothers’ keepers.
“The President of Ohaneze will soon address the Igbo nation. All Igbos must join hands with the Ohaneze leadership to move the Igbo nation forward. With this peace, we are going to see a new kind of support for Ohaneze. The rest of the world will hear about the Igbo nation. The jinx has been broken.
“With this peace, we are going to emphasise on the economy of the South East rather than politics. We shall make it, with God on our side. The old things have passed away and behold new things are taking place. And I want to commend all my brothers and sisters here for this peace in Ohaneze. This is a new Ohaneze that will move the Igbo nation forward,” Okorocha said.
Governor Okorocha said that, “the governors will be behind the leadership and the entire NEC, so that a new song will be sang in the Igbo nation. I commend the President-General for keeping the Ohaneze spirit on, despite the lack of support from the stakeholders.”
Chief Igariwey and Dr. Obioha, in their separate speeches, said achieving peace in the leadership of Ohaneze and reconciling the two factions should be celebrated by all Igbo because the division had not augured well with the body and the interest of the Igbo in general.
They commended Governor Okorocha for ensuring that peace and unity returned to Ohaneze and assured him that they would not let Ndigbo down. They said Ohaneze would now be occupied with issues that would boost the economy of Igboland.