Amidst controversy, a former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Prof. George Obiozor, on Sunday emerged the new President-General of the Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
He replaced Chief John Nwodo whose tenure as Ohanaeze’s chief ended at the weekend.
Obiozor polled 304 votes to defeat four other candidates in the election held at the Dan Anyim Stadium in Owerri, Imo State.
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.”
Ngige 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 the 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.”
During a distinguished career in public service, Obiozor also served as Nigeria’s ambassador to Israel from 1999 to 2003.
He was also the director-general of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs.
The election was witnessed by governors Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), and Hope Uzodinma (Imo).
The Ohanaeze election was marred by controversy with several groups and individual faulting the processes leading to the exercise.
A group had late last year challenged the choice of Owerri as venue of the election.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, also faulted the composition of the electoral committee for the Ohanaeze election.
In a statement issued by his media office on December 7 last year, the minister alleged that the 40-member electoral committee was dominated by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).