By Jude Atupulazi
The Anaocha LGA Chapter executive of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has been inaugurated in Neni, Anaocha LGA Headquarters, with the chairman of the occasion, Prof Patrick Thomas Ozoh, urging all Igbos in Nigeria and diaspora to unite and champion the hope of Ndigbo in the leadership of Nigeria, even as he emphasized the importance of education.
The Anambra State president of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Mr Obi Chukwuemekalum Udodeme, stressed that it was time for Ohaneze Ndigbo to get to the grassroots and reaching all the families as the mouth piece of the Igbos.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the chairman Ohaneze Ndigbo, Anaocha Chapter, Engr Chief Ben Nnia Onugbolu, described Ohaneze Ndigbo as an umbrella body of the Igbos worldwide, likening it to its counterpart in western Nigeria, Afenifere; Arewa Consultative Forum for the Northerners; and Middle Belt Forum.
Udodeme described Ohaneze as a non-partisan organization which, he said, every Igbo man or woman within or outside the country who had attained the age of 18 years was a member.
He said any adult person of Igbo extraction who had registered with the home town union, Igbo Union outside Igbo Land or overseas or an affiliate organization, had automatically registered with Ohaneze Ndigbo, which, he said, had been structured in such levels as town unions and affiliate organizations, local government area chapters, state chapters and national Ohaneze Ndigbo.
The newly inaugurated executive members of the Anaocha Chapter of the body who were sworn in by Prof Ken Nwogu include, Chief Ben Nnia Onugbolu – Chairman; Hon Emeka Anetoh, Vice Chairman; Mr Sylvester Iloka, General Secretary; Aloy Muoka, Organizing Secretary; John Paul Okeke Chinaza, Assistant Secretary; Ejesieme Onyebuchi, Financial Secretary; Charles Obiajulu, Assistant Fin Secretary; Okafor Nnaemeka Geoffrey, Treasurer; Olisa Eloka Obiefuna, Assistant Treasurer; Anosike Sunday C., Assistant Organizing Secretary; Anadumaka Emeka, Pubic Secretary; Arch Tony Eze, Assistant Publicity Secretary; Fabian Nwokeke , Provost; Chidiebele Obiasogu, Assistant Provost; Aguluka N. Kinsley, Leader, Ohaneze Youth Wing Anaocha; Mrs Egolu Antonia, Women’s Leader, Ohaneze Anaocha Chapter; and Hon Luke Chukwudulue, Ex-Officio.
At a symposium with the theme, “Ositadimma”, by the guest speaker, Prof ken N. Nwogu, he emphasized that Ohaneze Ndigbo was a non-partisan, rather than a political organization and that all the Igbos should know where they stood and where they were going in order to get their cut of the national cake.
He said that education was important for Ndigbo.
Award presentations to eminent sons and daughters of Anaocha featured at the occasion in which Senator Victor Umeh was presented with the award of Pillar of Education.
While accepting the award, Senator Umeh described Ohaneze as the Igbo voice and that if there was anything happening and it concerned the Igbos, all Igbos would wait to hear what Ohaneze said.
Also the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, was given the award of Chairman of Hope which Senator Victor Umeh received on Obi’s behalf.
Hon Dr Barr (Mrs) Ifeyinwa Obegolu was given the award for Humanitarian Services which and was received by Hon Chisom Obegolu.
Many personalities were installed as patrons, with Prof Pita Ejiofor, Chairman and founder, Otu Subakwa Igbo, represented by Ichie M.C. Nnoli, being installed as grand patron.
The occasion was attended by personalities like Hon Gerald Ikechukwu Ozoh, transition chairman, Anaocha LGA; Ichie Damian Okeke Ogene, former President and current Vice President General, Ohaneze National, among others. Some traditional rulers and town union leaders also graced the occasion.
Interacting with journalists, the chairman of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Anaocha Chapter, Engr Ben Nnia Onugbolu, advised Ndigbo to play politics now better than before.