Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has emerged as the new President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo in replacement for Amb. George Obiozor who died last December after a brief illness.
The National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Enugu on Thursday.
According to him, in line with the doctrine of necessity, the NEC had at the demise of Amb. Obiozor directed the people of Imo State to find a credible replacement for Obiozor for the post of President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.
Ogbonnia added that the Imo State Council of Elders, led by Eze Ilomuanya presented Chief Iwuanyanwu to Gov. Hope Uzodimma, as “the consensus candidate” of the Council to lead Ohaneze.
Iwuanyanwu, who hails from Ikeduru in Imo State, had been presented to Gov. Hope Uzidimma for approval to finish the tenure of the late Prof. George Obiozor who died in 2022.
He said, “The various reactions from the members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Ohanaeze and from all the organs of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide indicate wild jubilations with the news that Iwuanyanwu, the Chairman, Council of Elders, Ohanaeze, has been selected as a replacement for Obiozor who died in 2022.”
He described Iwuanyanwu as a “dynamic, versatile, purpose driven and broad-minded personality of impeccable pedigree”.
“Before now, Iwuanyanwu is one of the finest amongst the Igbo; a philanthropist par excellence, massive employer of labour, robust creative thinker, brave soldier, accomplished engineer, astute business mogul, industrialist and sagacious politician.
“Beyond the above attributes is the general outcry for the prerequisites or the required persona for the Office of the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide,”.
Ogbonnia however, pointed out that a president General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, must also detach himself from any governor and should have the courage and moral authority to reproach or condemn a governor or any high office holder who went against the Igbo interest or public norms.
The publicity secretary explained that a President General must also show capacity in many respects and have the courage and convictions to channel Igbo interests to the President of Nigeria without compromises.
“He should place Igbo interest above self interest. He should be large enough or should have the tentacles that will incorporate the Igbo elements in the South South of Nigeria and other sundry places.
“The person must have contributed his quota in diverse forms in promoting the Igbo heritage.
Iwuanyanwu, he said, was the highest employer of labour, at least in the entire East of the Niger, adding that his Foundation had offered scholarships to over 10, 000 indigent students across the country.
He said that Iwuanyanwu had also donated to universities to create conducive environments for learning; built Churches and other community facilities.
According to him, Chief Iwuanyanwu has held various offices, received many awards and belong to different groups.
“At the Ohaneze Ndigbo, Iwuanyanwu has served as Chairman in the following Ohanaeze Committees: State Creation Committee, Planning and Strategy Committee, Political Committee, Constitution Drafting Committee and currently, the Chairman, Ohanaeze Elders Council.
He thanked the Imo State Council of Elders led by Ilomuanya for the painstaking rigorous procedure in reaching such a landmark decision.
“We also urge the members of Imeobi Ohanaeze Ndigbo to endorse the decision of the Imo State Council of Elders in good faith.
“With Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, it is a Eureka, an Igbo rebound and a new beginning for Ndigbo,” Ogbonnia said.