The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has rejected the composition of the electoral committee for the Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
The 40-member committee announced on Sunday by the President-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, is expected to provide the blueprint for the election of new leaders for the apex Igbo socio-political organization.
In a statement issued on Monday by his media office, Ngige said the committee was filled with card-carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He described the list as “a product of non-inclusive process, overtly partisan and incapable of delivering an election that will be credible and acceptable to all.”
The minister said: “The non-consultation of all critical stakeholders in the composition of the nominees from different states weakens its credibility and may jeopardize the integrity of the electoral outcome.
“In Anambra State for instance, key stakeholders were not all consulted leading to a skewed process that threw up politicians, who were leaders in the campaign organization of a presidential candidate in 2019 general elections and who has made no disguise of his intention to re-contest.
“I was, for example, not consulted just like some other critical stakeholders in the selection process as a former governor and Senator from Anambra who has been making immense contributions to reposition the Ohanaeze Ndigbo since 1991.”
Ngige insisted that he deserved to be consulted, having held various offices and being a prominent player in Igbo affairs.
He added: “Apart from the offices I held in the past and the one that I am holding today, I have remained a prominent player in Igbo affairs, leading Aka Ikenga as President from 1991 to 1997 and serving as a member of Imeobi from 1992 as President of Aka Ikenga and till date, having been a Governor of Anambra State. So, I deserved to be consulted before any decision is taken in Ohanaeze.”
He also accused the committee members of misconduct, saying the process for electing new leaders for Ohanaeze was for those without party affiliation.
“Go through the list and see the same politicians who transversed the country with presidential candidates, canvassing for votes.
“We hitherto complained of their misbehaviour and today, they are being empaneled to conduct an election for Ohanaeze. This is clearly a job for those without political party affiliation,” Ngige concluded.