Constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN), says the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has lost focus and is now adrift in the nation’s political affairs.
He blames the development on the leadership crisis rocking the once vibrant group.
Speaking at the presentation of his autobiography Ben Nwabueze: His Life, Works and Times, in Awka, Anambra State at the weekend, Nwabueze called for the immediate revival of the group to enable it resume its role in championing the cause of the Igbo in the polity.
“Where is Ohanaeze today?” he asked
“What is happening to the one and only pan-Igbo organisation that can speak for us in relation to the Federal Government and other ethnic nationalities?”
“Ohaneze today is in disarray, split into factions and we are all sitting doing nothing. We can’t allow this to continue,” Nwabueze who was the founding secretary general of the organisation said.
He challenged Igbo traditional rulers to join hands with the governors of the South East states to resolve the problem that has rendered Ohaneze Ndigbo moribund.
He stated that the Igbo need Nigeria more than any other ethnic group pointing out that the Southeast governors should take the lead in fashioning out an agenda for the Igbo in the Nigerian polity by setting up a committee to draft the Igbo agenda.
He also recommended the conduct of fresh elections of the officials of the organisation to make it acceptable to everyone.
He said: “The stories about what happened in the other election make it imperative for a fresh election.”
Professor Nwabueze similarly called for a people’s’ constitution to replace the 1999 constitution, because as he argued, the existing constitution did not emanate from the generality of Nigerians.
Said he, “What we have as the 1999 Constitution is not the Supreme Law. What is its source of supremacy? The military… this cannot be, the source of supremacy everywhere in the world is the people.”
“The constitution so framed will then be out through a referendum, that is the challenge before this country.”