Who Will Succeed Nnia Nwodo in 2021?  ~ By Paul Njoku
It is no longer a pertinent breaking news that by January 2021, a new President- General of Ohaneze Ndigbo will rotationally emerge from Imo State but the demanding question is to know who will qualifiedly and confidently succeed Chief Nnia Nwodo, the seating President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo who has woefully failed in the past years to resiliently unite and pilot the affairs of Ndigbo to the promised land.
The problem with the Apex Igbo Cultural leadership is lack of focus and brotherly unity which have caused the abysmal death of political leadership in the Southeast region.
Ndigbo need an inspired leader capable of addressing the problems of the Igbo people as we have not only been bitterly invaded and conquered by the Janjaweed elements but utterly enslaved by the Fulani caliphate and their appendages.
The forthcoming new Ohanaeze leader must be resilient, watchful, sincere, brotherly, patient, resourceful, intelligent and deeply knowledgeable. He must not be a stooge to the political and Fulani ruling class and must not sabotage his Igbo brethren for the purpose of serving the Sokoto Caliphate.
The regional security and lives and safety of Ndigbo must be guaranteed by his dogged articulation and insomnia. He must have the capacity to plan with other Igbos to defend our collective interest for salvation, unity, peace, sovereignty, love, economic restructuring, self-determination or regional government with true fiscal federalism that guarantee resource control.
Igbos are disunited and fragmented. A United Igbo extending from Igbanke in Edo State to Ika, Ikwere, Igba, Ekpeye, Egbema to Arochukwu to Izzi of Abakaliki is desirable.
In my view, Ndigbo should painstakingly search for a leader in Major General Collins Remy Ugo Ihekire (rtd) of Imo State who can unite Ndigbo with quality formation and leadership hospitality. General Ihekire has strong and charismatic leadership qualities. He is a unique man whom I wish to partake in the competition of the Ohaneze Ndigbo Presidency come 2021. If he whatsoever reason has no such ambition, somebody should please compel him to serve the Igbos. He is a man I know with no arrogance, pride and infidelity.
General Ihekire should be willing to consider the opinions of people who want him to succeed Nnia Nwodo as the next President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide. In him, I see a leader who must not polarise and divide Ndigbo to the Northern and Southern nomenclature. The Igboman must pick and choose a leader who is not egoistic or a bigot. To my best of knowledge, Mr. Collins is articulated, focused and a personable gentleman who always strive for excellence. He loves challenges. He is a good builder of organizational capacity and development of those around him. As a retired Army General who studied in abroad and home, he is very good at formulating objectives that enhance organizational functions and successes. He is a dependable follower and a reliably dedicated good leader as well an experienced negotiator with a good understanding of political, economic, cultural and social environmental purviews.
He is a man who believes in rural community security and development. He contributes tirelessly for its development through the repaired and rehabilitation of rural roads, community policing and provision of amenities. He is a philanthropist who renders selfless service to all and sundry especially the sick and poor. He has also made tremendous contributions to building human capital development for the community by sponsoring the education of many underprivileged in various professions. He has assisted many people to be employed both in Government and private agencies. His assistance is not limited to his locality alone but to none-Igbos and Muslims. He has assisted all types of people across the length and breath of Nigeria and has received several honours in appreciation including ‘Dike di ora mma of Umunna Orlu’. He is also the ‘Ochiagha N’igbo 1 of Niger State and Otun Jagunmolu of Ilu Owa, Osun State.
I recall when a great achievement was recorded by him in 2003 being the memorable year he restored peace at Ukpuala Amakohia in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State after six years of complex and intractable conflict between various factions in the town. The conflicts that stopped all developmental programs in the town for six years attained unacceptable level as lawlessness reigned whilst death threats became the order of the day with the usage of dangerous weapons against opponents.
Using his wealth of experiences as a peacemaker of both within and outside Nigeria, he initiated and convened the ‘Ako-Udo Committee’ (Hand of Peace) where he served as the Chairman to tackle the crisis in his hometown. As a result of this, Amakohia was spared the fate of other neighbouring communities whose traditional rulers had to go on exile because of crises in their Kingdoms. The peace which Amakohia has been enjoying since October 2003 is as a result of his initiative.
He is a patron of ‘Amakohia Vigilante Group’ and Patron of the ‘Okpuala Amakohia Oganihu Age Grade’.
In 2007, General Collins instituted ‘Ikeduru Annual Festival of Arts and Culture’ initiated and still sponsors by him till today which had earned him the title of ‘Isi Uzo Omenala’ by the Council of NdiEze Comparing 25 traditional rulers in Ikeduru. He is separately also a Patron of both Ikeduru Renaissance Club of Nigeria and Odinma Ikeduru Forum.
Paul Ikechukwu Njoku is a human rights activist, a writer and public affairs analyst.