. . . Warns against partisanship
By Uche Amunike
The Anambra State Government has expressed displeasure and disappointment over what it described as acts of sabotage and sacrilege by some officers of the socio-cultural Igbo group, Ohaneze Ndigbo, for holding their Ime-Obi meeting on same day the entire country honoured the first president of Nigeria, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, an act the governor described as one aimed at discrediting the memory of Zik.
Speaking to journalists at a press briefing, the governor who spoke through his Commissioner for Information, C Don Adinuba, condemned the absence of Ohaneze Ndigbo at the event, when, according to him, they were expected to have been among the teeming Nigerians that not only welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari to the state, but also expected to lead the ceremony since, according to Adinuba, Zik was the first and only patron of Ohaneze.
The government of Anambra State, he said, felt embarrassed that even though Ohaneze Ndigbo agreed to their request to adjust the date of their meeting in order to accommodate the commissioning of the mausoleum, they ended up not keeping to their word, an act he described as sinister, dishonest and pure brigandage.
He expressed his surprise at the actions of the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, who, according to him, was the last person the Anambra State governor expected to boycott the commissioning of Zik's Mausoleum considering that Zik made his father Minister in the Eastern Region.
Adinuba went on to describe Nwodo's father as a great man who was the first Nsukka man to become a minister. He reiterated that Zik went on to make the Nsukka people have a sense of belonging by relocating the University of Nigeria to Nsukka, noting that he could have started it somewhere like Enugu that had better facilities.
Zik, he said, moved to Nsukka after the war and remained there until he died in 1996, whilst showing great affection to the Nwodo family and the Nsukka people in general.
The Information Commissioner also condemned Ohaneze's endorsement of presidential candidates during elections. He maintained that Ohaneze was a socio-political and cultural organization and should remain that.
In his words: 'They should remain the umbrella organization treating all Igbo people like sons and daughters and showing no partiality or a different level of affection for any individual or group. He maintained that he had no problems with the group's endorsement of the People's Democratic Party (PDP)'s duo of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi by Ohaneze, as was misrepresented by certain media groups, but however advised Ohaneze to remain non-partisan and non-political while championing the cause of the Igbo race.