Ohanaeze in Secret Talks at Aso Villa: Endorses Jonathan's Presidency 2015
Ohanaeze Ndigbo met with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan in Aso Villa on Wednesday and endorsed his plan for re-election in 2015. The meeting between President Jonathan and the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo was to assure the President that the people of the South East were behind his re-election plans. The meeting was also intended to assure the President that there is only one Ohanaeze leadership under Chief Gari Igariwey and that anybody purporting to be representing Ndigbo is an impostor.
Confirming the meeting Wednesday with President Jonathan, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Gari Igariwey, told the Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) and Director of Media of General Association of all Igbo Christian Ministers and Organization (GAAICOM), Rev Obinna Akukwe in a chat that there is actually a meeting with the President but that Ohanaeze cannot take any decision on where Ndigbo is headed for in 2015 till after the town hall meeting scheduled in Abakaliki between President Jonathan and Igbo leaders on Friday. Chief Igariwey was the person who as Deputy President General of Ohanaeze Ndibo in 2011 rejected a N20 million naira bribe from agent of a presidential aide aimed at mortgaging Igbo interest. He has been under intense pressure by PDP agents to unilaterally adopt Jonathan as the candidate of Igbos just as his predecessor did but he insisted on a somewhat collective decision.
President Jonathan is scheduled for re-election campaign rally in Abakaliki on Friday and will later address a town hall meeting where Ohanaeze leadership expects him to use the opportunity of the town hall meeting to address issues affecting his unfulfilled promises to Ndigbo. The plot by agents of the presidency using Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu to force Ohanaeze Ndigbo to adopt Jonathan as its sole candidate for presidency 2015 has failed thrice, including during two separate Imeobi meeting and also during the Igbo Day Celebrations held at Awka in 2014. Igbo leaders have continued to insist that Jonathan have not fulfilled any of his promises to Ndigbo, citing especially, the 2nd Niger Bridge, Enugu International Airport , Onitsha Seaport, Enugu-Onitsha and Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway as some of the numerous unfulfilled promises to Ndigbo.
Those present at the Wednesday meeting with the President include Chief Gari Igariwey (President General), Dr Joe Nwaorgu (Secretary General), Chief OAU Onyema (Deputy President General), Chief Onyia (Vice President General -Delta State), Eze Cletus Ilomuanya (Chairman South East Council of Traditional Rulers), Eze Ambassador Agubuzo( Chairman Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers),Chief Gibson Nwosu (Ezeuzu of Awka), Chief Ibe Nwosu ( Ezeigbo of Abuja), Prof Chief Uwazulike (Chairman Aka-Ikenga),Prof Anya O Anya (Chairman Ohanaeze Political Committee), Senator Hope Uzodimma( Chairman Ohanaeze Mobilization Committee), Chief Tony Okeke (Chairman Zodiac Hotels), Dr Sam Egwu( Former Governor Ebonyi State),Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife (former Governor Anambra State), Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu (Former Presidential Aspirant), Prof ABC Nwosu (Former Minister of Health) and Senator Ken Nnamani (Former Senate President).
The Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC), Rev Obinna Akukwe was also informed by one of the delegates to the Aso Rock meeting that there was disagreement within the team over the exclusion of the 82 year old nationalist and Chairman of Ohanaeze Elders Council, Chief Mbazulike Amechi from the delegation that visited the President. Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife and Eze IBe Nwosu were the first that protested over the exclusion of certain persons, and were supported by some other delegates before the contention was resolved. Those tactically excluded from the meeting include Dr Alex Ekwueme (former Vice President), Chief Joe Irukwu (Past President General of Ohanaeze), Dr Dozie Ikedife (Pat President General), Eze Justice Eze Ozobu(Past President General), Prof Ben Nwabueze (Past President General), hief Mbazulike Amechi , Chief Raph Obioha and Chief Mbazulike Amechi among others. Barrister Emejulu Okpalaukwu was said to have excluded self from the delegation by arriving Abuja after the team had left for Aso Villa
Sources who attended the meeting told Rev Akukwe that President Jonathan promised to give more attention to the zone during his second tenure and blamed insurgency for some