By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The Apex Igbo cultural Organization known as, “Ohaneze Ndigbo”, Cross River State chapter has come to stay as a one united body despite seeming disagreement from disgruntled elements.
This unity was exhibited recently amongst the Igbo cultural groups in the state when they gathered in one accord to elect tested and responsible leaders to supervise the affairs of the organization for a period of four years..
As a result, responsible personalities were elected to form the new executive committee during its general election.
During the election, High Chief Festus Udoemena was elected as the current and recognized President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Cross River State having got 25 votes.
Nze Emmanuel Eze, polled 21 votes while Chief Maduka Okafor came third with 16 votes according.
Before the keenly contested election, a total of 62 delegates were properly accredited at Ikom local government area being the venue for the Ohaneze tri-ennial delegates’ conference.
The tri-ennial delegates conference which peaceful had Eze Igbo Cross River, Sir Emmanuel Ezenwenyi as chairman of the occasion.
All the chapter Presidents of Igbo communities from the 18 local government area of the state were in attendance.
Speaking after his election, High Chief Festus Udoemena admonished Igbos in Cross River State to refrain from character that will not portray the Ibos in good light.
He also sued them to always work towards uniting themselves rather than embark on character assassinations which does not pay any one any good.
He said “my administration will run an open policy which will accommodate all and sundry irrespective of colour, tribe or state and sued for cooperation from all quarters.
He declared “I need the cooperation of Ohaneze members as well as the Igbo community chapters in the state to ensure that we have a befitting state Secretariat here in Calabar.
“My administration will observe due process in all our engagement by being accountable to the people that elected us. We shall remain one indivísble family”.
Udoemena who thanked God Almighty for making the conference to be smooth and peaceful, promised to carry everybody along.
The President lauded the traditional institution in the state for their fatherly love demonstrated to Igbos across the 18 local government area of the state.
This development had basically shown in the various businesses been embarked upon by the Igbos everywhere without any harassment or intimidation.
In his remarks, the Eze Ndigbo, Cross River State, Sir Emmanuel Ezenwenyi advised the new leaders of Ohaneze Ndigbo to learn from the mistakes of the immediate past administration.
“You must learn to be accountable to the people at all times. Bring out programmes that would unify the Igbos in Cross River irrespective of their different state of origin, he noted”.
According to him, ” my over 50 years in Cross River had shown that they are accommodating. They are peace loving too. Therefore, it is expected that the Igbos should reciprocate the gesture at all times by being of good behavior.
He commended the effort of the Kekura Ekpache Nkome Kingdom in Ikom local government area that ensured that the ugly face of the ENDSARS did not consume Ikom. It could have been worst.
In a related development, the President General of Kekura Ekpache Nkome Kingdom, Comrade Francis Bajor Ndifon, said a lot of issues were considered during the ENDSARS protest hence, it was controlled. This is the nerve centre of economic and commercial base of the state.
“We were well informed that 95 percent of businesses in Ikom were privately driven and so should not be the target of showcasing such grievances, “he added”