Hearing on the case between Chief Solomon Ogbonna, the immediate past President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos state chapter and the current President, Chief Sunday Ossai slated for Thursday, April 6, 2023, at the Ikeja High Court was adjourned to May 24, 2023, apparently because the former and his lawyer were absent from the court just as they did the previous time the case came up. This case can be likened to one trying to build something on nothing; definitely, the effort will end in futility. No responsible person in his right sense will do this except for mischief and to distract the current president.
To properly situate this case, it is actually between the former president, Chief Solomon Ogbonna, and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo as an association whose collective will as expressed in the election that produced Chief Ossai as the president is being challenged. This is, therefore, a call on everyone that participated in that election to rise beyond primordial sentiment to defend their votes and ensure that Chief Ossai is not distracted with a needless court case.
Chief Ossai did not elect himself. His election obviously followed the due process and procedures as enshrined in Ohanaeze’s constitution which clearly spelled out the process of its leadership recruitment. As a properly structured association, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has a constitution to effectively manage its activities.
The association, in its wisdom, considered the electoral process as the only means through which its leaders will emerge. What this implies is that there is no other process, not even the consent judgment that the former president is using as the basis to still parade himself as president can qualify anyone to preside over its affairs as president. A consent judgment is alien to the association and should not be applied in any form or shade.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo is peopled by eminent Igbos who are trailblazers in their chosen fields of endeavour and should rise up to stop the ridiculing of the body by one dissident and a few supporters who are driven by avarice and inordinate ambition and lack of sense of decorum. You cannot rule elders by force!
Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the pride of Igbos in the Diaspora, a symbol of identity, and as such should be preserved. I call on the elders and the passed leaders to prevail on the former president to withdraw this case, stop parading himself as the factional president of Ohanaeze, and vacate the office to allow the current President and his team the latitude to take over and function effectively for the benefit of Ndigbo. If Ohanaeze does not put its house in order, it should not expect respect from the host community.