Utomi mourns Onwudiwe, calls for postponement of Ohanaeze Ndigbo election




Prof. Patrick Okedinachi Utomi has called for the postponement of the election of a new national executive for Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide.

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The Professor of political economy, who is also a management expert. said this would give the Igbo nation the opportunity to honor the memory of the late Prof. Ebere Onwudiwe, an economist, political scientist and chairman of O-Analytics, Abuja who served as a governance consultant with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Prof Pat Utomi, a former Presidential candidate and founder of Centre for Value in Leadership said in a post that he had contacted the Minister of State for Health, Dr (Senator) Mamora and former Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu to intervene and ensure that Prof. Onwudiwe got the best of medical care, only for the late Professor’s son to issue a statement, less than 12 hours after, announcing his demise.

He said that he was with Prof Onwudiwe, who was also Executive Director of Ken Nnamani Center for Leadership and Development, Abuja, less than two weeks ago when the late scholar was honored by his community, Isu Njaba in Imo State, with the chieftaincy title, Mba 1 of Isunjaba, stressing that such confirmation of the transience of life should teach all a lesson in humility.

He said: “Even with such a sign about the meaning of being, people are still consumed with real and imagined power, that they seek it over purpose, to the detriment of the common good. This whole Ohaneze fiasco speaks sadly to our values.”

The erudite scholar said further that “I am proud that Anioma people showed the Igbo nation an example in the way they allowed me manage the Anioma turn which produced Ambassador Ralph Uwechue as PG (President General).

“I wish we could honor the memory of Prof. Onwudiwe who loved the Igbo nation dearly by postponing these elections and resolving these issues with the dignity of the Igbo nation foremost.”

Prof. Onwudiwe, a prolific writer and deep thinker was also a distinguished fellow at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Abuja.

A statement by Menmme Onwudiwe for the family, said that Prof. Onwudiwe passed on due to complications arising from the global pandemic.

The statement said further that “Prof. Onwudiwe was an author, a columnist, and a social commentator on issues relating to Nigeria and Africa” and that “Before relocating to his beloved country Nigeria, Prof. Onwudiwe was the Director of the Center for African Studies at Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio, where he served as Professor Emeritus.”

The election of a new national executive council of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the pan Igbo organisation is scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday, January 10, 2021 and running for the office of President General to take over from Chief John Nnia Nwodo are Chief Barrister Goddy Uwazuruike, Chief (Hon.) Chris Asoluka, Ambassador (Professor) George Obiozor, Dr. Joe Nworgu and Prof. Chidi Osuagwu.

There have been some issues concerning adoption of a particular candidate by politically exposed persons, which has been put to rest with the election now open to all candidates as well as the age factor.

Some commentators say that Prof. Utomi’s suggestion to postpone the poll, which is not only to honor Prof. Onwudiwe but to allow a window for a rancor-free selection of Chief Nwodo’s successor, though in good faith, may be too late in the day, especially given that all is set for the election and the structures of the outgoing executive has already been largely, dismantled.

Meanwhile condolence messages have been pouring in for the late Prof. Onwudiwe.

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