The new President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, on Monday, warned against the use of the name of the group for financial gains by unauthorised persons.
Iwuanyanwu, who spoke during a press conference at the end of the National Executive Council meeting of the Igbo apex body, advised Igbo youths who have been in the business of using Ohanaeze Ndigbo name to trade with politicians to desist henceforth.
The new president-general also warned media houses in the country to refrain from publishing individuals who use the name of the apex Igbo sociocultural group for their selfish ends or be ready for litigation.
While expressing regrets that some Igbo youths, in the name of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths, have caused a lot of embarrassment for the Ndigbo in general, and Ohanaeze Ndigbo in particular, vowed that henceforth he would no longer tolerate that.
He said, “It’s a very big embarrassment for us to be reading in the media of statements by unauthorised persons who claim to be speaking either for Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide or Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths. This is an issue we are are discussing at the NEC.
“Maybe they were not given proper orientation. We have agreed today to let bygones be bygones. We are not going to punish anybody for what happened in the past, but from today, I am going to resist that.
“Our youths should imbibe the simple principle of success in life; obedience, responsibility, loyalty to the system. If you want to succeed in life, if you want to be a leader and you want people to respect you, you have to obey the laws.
“The Ohanaeze constitution has made it clear that anyone can form his own association. We recognize the fact that Igbos have a very big capacity for development. So any Igbo man can form an association and come to Ohabaeze to be registered. They are free to form any youth association. We don’t have any problem. They can form any youth association but you don’t have to call it Ohanaeze.
“They are only trying to steal the brand name of Ohanaeze. That is wrong if you do that. But they can form an association and the President-General of Ohanaeze will support them and assist them.
“If they make statements in the name of that association, we are not going to bother. But if you say it is Ohanaeze, we won’t accept that.
“Every time you open pages of paper you will see Ohanaeze has said this, at times it becomes contradictory. It is a very big concern to anyone who loves Igbo land.
“I start to think that these things are done for monetary consideration. Enemies of Igbo use those who are vulnerable to financial inducement. We have talked about it and we have made it clear that nobody apart from members of NEC can talk only on issues that have been discussed. Then it is me as the President General, the Secretary-general and the Publicity Secretary that can talk on some of these things.”