•Ohanaeze, group in crucial meeting, firm up strategy
ational President, Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), Chief Emeka Diwe has said that the Ndigbo will remain in Nigeria in order to get what is due to the Igbo nation in order to get the highest office of the nation.
The think tank group leader made this known Saturday in Enugu, after it had a closed door meeting with the leadership of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Diwe, who refused to divulge the main agenda of the meeting, however, told Sunday Telegraph that “part of the reason for the meeting is to douse tension in the land; there is too much tension and suspicion. Ndigbo will remain in Nigeria and get what is due them in Nigeria.”
He also said that the meeting was in continuation of its drive to build a strong movement and consciousness towards the realisation of the Igbo presidency project ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The consultative meeting with Nnia Nwodo was preceded by an all-night meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of ASETU which commenced by 9pm on Friday and ended 3am Saturday at Tamara Hotel, Enugu.
Diwe also said, that at the end of the three-hour meeting with Chief Nwodo in his Enugu residence, they discussed sundry issues affecting the interest and welfare of Ndigbo, including security and rising anxiety over a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
According to Diwe, on the issue of a Nigeria president of Igbo extraction, he said: “We are still consulting, the coast is not clear yet but we want to see how to first address the rising tension and suspicion in the country and we feel it’s necessary to send the signal that Ndigbo will remain in Nigeria to get their due.
“The meeting we had with the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo is an outcome of the brainstorming we had last night. We had a meeting which started around 9pm and ended 3am today before we moved to the residence of Chief Nwodo to hold the close-door meeting with him.
“There are a lot of eye opening revelations obtained from our consultations with number one, Chief Nnia Nwodo, and that will lead us to further seeking of more interactions and more consultations from other Igbo quarters and hierarchies; we’ll get back to you on that.”
The National President of ASETU said that the Union has come to stay as a formidable platform to articulate the interest and welfare of Ndigbo and galvanize them towards a particular direction and should be viewed as the metamorphosis of the defunct Igbo Union.
“The Association of Igbo Town Unions is a continuation of Igbo Unions; it is not a recent development. Ohanaeze is the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation with elitist coloration; and Town Union is the foundation of Igbo structure that starts from the family to the village, to the community to the local government, to the senatorial zone, to the state, and to the South East.
“At each of these levels, we have structures and this is the structure that forms statutorily the background, the flesh of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. So you can now see that these structures need to work hand in hand to give Igbos what they really desire,” he said.
When prodded to give more details of the group’s deliberations with the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, especially with regard to the strategy towards the actualization of Igbo presidency in 2023, Chief Diwe declined, saying that that would amount to letting the cat out of the bag too soon.
“Let that anxiety continue, there is something I will not tell you now so that I will not pre-empt our position, because that thing you are talking (Igbo presidency) has started but we want to be sure, so that when we talk, it is a megaphone of what Igbos want. I can’t start now to puncture it.
“You can see we are coming out from a meeting with President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, we have been there for hours, in a closed-door meeting with him. The apex leadership of Town Unions had a closed-door meeting with Ohanaeze leadership in his residence; let me leave it at that.
“So I can only tell you that we are still consulting and very soon Igbos will know where we are going,” he said.
It would be recalled that ASETU had a fortnight ago ended a retreat in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, where among other things they agreed to set up a joint community-based Vigilante Outfit and Security Trust Fund to check the rising cases of insecurity and invasion of Igbo land.