There was tension yesterday during Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s emergency Ime-Obi meeting, as Prof. George Obiozor collapsed as one of the aspirants for the body’s President-General in the January 11, 2021 elections.
The meeting was convened to resolve the differences arising from the list of the 40-member organization’s Electoral Committee for the 2021 election submitted by President-General Nnia Nwodo to the Ime-Obi on 6 December 2020.
Obiozor, 78, had been endorsed as their consensus candidate by Imo state stakeholders, but he was said to have begun to shiver and lose consciousness at the meeting from where he was seated and someone close to him called for help.
Naturenex.net also learnt that while he was being helped out of the hall, he slumped and started talking incoherently just as efforts to revive him failed, as he was moved into his car and accompanied by an Enugu State Government ambulance in a bid to rush him out of the venue.
A member of the Ime-Obi meeting who sat close to him at the meeting said Obiozor suddenly started behaving funny and talking to himself, adding that he noticed that he (Obiozor) was unwell and immediately called for help.
Meanwhile, after over three hours of the meeting presided over by Nwodo, the Ime-Obi Ohanaeze Ndigbo resolved to conduct the election as scheduled on January 11, 2021 in Owerri, Imo State.
Also, the disagreements arising from the list of electoral committee members were resolved with the emergence of a new Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Chief Gary Enwo Igariwey.
Igariwey, who was a former President-General of the Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation from Ebonyi State replaced Chief Ben Obi from Anambra State, whose nomination was opposed on December 6, 2020 by Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on the grounds that he was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
To arrive at Igariwey’s choice, Obi whose nomination was opposed willingly stepped down to enable the meeting to nominate another chairman after Nwodo nominated him (Igariwey) and unanimously approved by members of the Ime-Obi.
Igariwey will work with Bishop Goddy Okafor, who was nominated as Deputy Chairman and other members earlier nominated to conduct the January 11 election.
Nwodo, who told journalists after the meeting that it was not the first time Ohanaeze Ndigbo would be conducting its elections outside in Enugu, described the meeting as the ‘most peaceful’ the organisation has had in a while.
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, Ebonyi State Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe, Ngige, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and former Enugu State Governor, Okwesilieze Nwodo, among several others, attended the meeting.