AHAEJIAGAMBA: A New Lease Of Life For Ohaneze Ndigbo

By Ben Duru

Ohaneze Ndigbo, the socio-cultural organization of the people of the South East and part of the South South region has been trending positively since the emergence of Ambassador George Obiozor. Before his death, the ambassador who assumed the helm of affairs of the organization through the instrumentality of the Imo State Government headed by Sen. Hope Uzodimma had made giant strides as well as brought in some reforms that had largely made the group a force to reckon with across the Nigeria.

For the first in the annals of the socio-cultural organization, the South East and Ndigbo had a very strong voice especially in the build up to the last general election. The great support the organization gave to the Presidential candidate of Labour in the face of incessant profiling of Ndigbo in some parts of the country was a huge boost to ndigbo wherever they resided and the impetus to move forward was reenacted.

The sudden eclipse of this promising bright light through the passing into glory of the cerebral diplomat sent shock waves across the length and breadth of the country, with some people forming the opinion that it might herald the end of Ohaneze Ndigbo. Many had expected infighting and mudslinging in the effort to choose his worthy successor, shortly after his burial.

But the recent announcement of businessmogul and extraordinary statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu (Ahaejiagamba) as successor to late Ambassador Obiozor was more shocking than the expected imbroglio which some had thought would erupt at the mention of the name of a successor.

Ahaejiagamba is a household name both within the South East and the entire nation at large. It would sound unbelievable to hear of any politician, journalist, football enthusiast, literary icon, educationist or multinational organization that does not know the iroko called Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu. His name rings bell in every nooks and crannies of Imo State with his philanthropy that had brought smiles into the faces of myriads of people, some of whom, he may never recognize unless they introduce themselves to him.

His Orji residence was a Mecca of some sort in the early days of democratic experiment in Imo State as most important decisions were taken at his residence as well as the settlement of any dispute dealing with politics. He was and is still viewed by the political as a man of his words, whose only interest is the satisfaction of the majority, even when the minority must always be given their opportunity to speak.

Following the return to partial democracy, he did compete in the highest office to become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Accepted generally as a kingpin, many followers prevailed on him to stand down on that aspiration and this was the real reason he never sought to contest for that office again till date. Rather, he ensured that there was equity and fairness in the distribution of political office. He was always ready to push youngmen to the top irrespective of state or local government of origin. Suffice to say that if the many youngmen that had enjoyed his push had in turn pushed other youngmen up, the story of youth and leadership in Imo and South East would not be what it is today.

When he established the Iwuanyanwu National, it sent shock waves across the sporting world as top rated footballers did everything to be part of the team, which eventually gave tremendous push to the achievements already recorded by Rangers International. It got to a point that majority of the stars in the Green Eagles of Nigeria were majorly from the Naze Warriors or Rangers International.

The success of Champion Newspapers, which later brought in another stable that took the media horizon in the South cannot be forgotten in a hurry, The establishment and success of that stable in South East and the simultaneous printing of Champion Newspapers in Lagos and Owerri changed the face of print media and challenged the traditional media outlets to look inwards.

In totality, whatever Ahaejiagamba touch turns literally to gold. This informed the perception of many that with his taking over the mantle of leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo, the socio-cultural organization is in for a new lease of life. He has been part of the organization from inception and understands the currents, politics and behind the scene moves. He has fought on the side of the Igbo speaking people and has never reneged whenever he is called upon to play a part.

The politics of elevating him to the pinnacle of the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo is a deft move by the Imo State Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma and another display or pragmatism which must be applauded by those who love to see the organization move forward. It portrays the governor as a leader free of clannish sentiments, a man whose eyes are always on the ball; who focus is to make things better for the majority of the people.

We owe both Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and governor Hope Uzodimma prays and appreciation because at the end of the day the decision skyrockets Imo to envy of other sister states. There is no doubt that success is already awaiting Ohaneze Ndigbo.

Ben Duru, P.A. to the Hon. Commissioner of Environment, High Chief Major Ejikeme Emenike (Ochiagha) is a veteran Journalist based in Owerri.


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