Posted by Emeka Mamah, Enugu | 16 February 2019 | 910 times
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has denied allegations from a faction of the organisation that the leadership of the apex Igbo socio- cultural association collected N300 million to endorse the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his deputy, Peter Obi.
Nwodo’s Spokesman, Chief Emeka Attamah, made this known in a statement in Enugu, yesterday.
Attamah said, “Our attention has been drawn to a news item that has been trending in the newspapers and social media in the country alleging that the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, was given N300 million by the Presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to secure the endorsement from the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation.
“Our first thought was to discountenance it coming from a discredited and an incorrigible black leg who sold out his patrimony for a mess of porridge and who still stands suspended as Secretary General of the organisation.
“We felt that Chief Nwodo’s pedigree, his track record and his unimpeachable character speak volume for him. However, such a blatant lie, if left uncleared, could assume a life of its own.
“But a cursory consideration of the ill-plotted story takes the wind off its sail. First of all, the turncoat, Mr Uche Okwukwu, shamelessly alleged that the said bribe money was paid into three accounts belonging to Chief Nwodo in First Bank, United Bank of Africa, UBA and Diamond Bank.
“The EFCC and the police were invited by Mr Okwukwu to investigate this. Nearly two weeks after, what are their findings? Were the lodgements found?
“Secondly, where was Okwukwu’s meeting of Imeobi (the highest decision making organ of Ohanaeze Ndigbo) held and who and who attended it?
“Thirdly, it is pertinent to observe the morality in Uche Okwukwu’s argument thus ‘If Nnia Nwodo had settled his Secretary General and his deputy, the biggest betrayal of Ndigbo after Ifeajuna by an individual would not be known.’
“It was because Uche Okwukwu and his ‘ghost deputy’ to Nwodo were sidelined that the ‘heinous bribe’ came to light. In other words, Uche Okwukwu would have willy nilly sold out if he had been settled.
“Furthermore, the other 21 members of NEC of Ohanaeze Ndigbo who are still tacitly with and who passed a vote of confidence in the President General are oblivious of the bribe money or either don’t need it or have forgiven Chief Nwodo for walloping the money.
“One would have ignored the obtrusive injection of the person of Prof. Anya .O. Anya into the second stanza of the narrative but for the fact that, if it was a misrepresentation, enough time had passed for him to have dissociated or distanced himself from it. Surprisingly, he hasn’t. All there is to that is that it is unfortunate that somebody of his stature allowed himself to be sucked in by the quicksand Mr Okwukwu fell into.
“For Orji Uzo Kalu, there is also nothing more to add. It wasn’t purely by choice but by exigencies and survival instinct that he was compelled to join the sinking ship.
Also, for Nwodo answering a telephone call to clear his name simply look at this:
“Chief Nnia Nwodo became a ‘man’ when his traducers, including some serving governors and Okwukwu, were still running around naked and chewing sand.
“At 28, (38 years ago), Chief Nwodo was already a Special Assistant to a President. At 31 (35 years ago), he became a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a position many of his detractors may never attain in all their sojourn on earth. Again, in his lifetime, he served this country meritoriously as a Minister.
“When he left office as a minister in 1983, he had just N12,000 in his accounts. When he left the second time in 1999, he had N698,000 in his account. All scrutiny by investigating goons found nothing incriminating on him. It will interest many to know that because of his impeccable character and unblemished service to the nation, the Federal Government of Abdusalami Abubakar trailed him to England to surreptitiously pay his school fees for him even after he had left office.
“Again, after all these years of exposure to public funds including as the youngest Chairman of the nation’s Urban Development Bank, Chief Nnia Nwodo still lives in a house built by his father when he was still in standard one.
“This is the character of a man Henry Okeke … and Mr Okwukwu will wait for him to answer their phone calls to clear his name over a paltry N300 million. It is an obvious disregard for Ndigbo to suggest that the whole of Igbo race can be bought for such an amount that can be found in the account of an Igbo trader in Lagos who probably became free from his master about five years ago. Quite an insult.
“The truth of the matter is that Chief Nwodo is not in contention with anyone about the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide. He remains the undisputed leader of Ndigbo.
Chief Nwodo comes from a family known for its respect for and pride in their origins. They have a name to protect and they are proud of it.
“The Treasurer, the Financial Secretary and indeed the other 19 members of NEC of Ohanaeze will readily testify to the transparency with which Chief Nwodo runs Ohanaeze Ndigbo. He remains unimpeachable.
“By the way, were the leadership of Afenifere, PANDEF, The Middle Belt Forum and the Northern Elders Forum also bought over to endorse the Atiku/Obi ticket? Ponder over this.
“Finally, Okwukwu, as a lawyer, should be aware of libel and that his utterances and write-ups are actionable. Say what you know and not what you think; no matter how much you want to malign somebody. That’s the hallmark of a gentleman,” the statement concluded. (Vanguard)
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