Ohanaeze

Ohanaeze Ndigbo

Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization in Nigeria. The group represents all Igbo communities within and outside Nigeria. The Igbo by census, represent one of the three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Although the group is not a political party, part of its objectives of creation is to foster unity among all Igbo in other to better allow them to be representative within the political scenario of Nigeria.

History

After the Nigerian civil war, some prominent Igbo gathered to proclaim the need to unify the Igbo under a common umbrella body. This initiative was much welcomed considering maximum displacement of the Igbo during the war and its aftermath. An organizational assembly was created, referred to as the Igbo National Assembly (INA). This organization was later banned by the Federal Military Government at the time, probably due to the Government’s fear of a grand suspicious agenda being cultivated by the Igbo via the organization with a name “National” in it; hence, the creation of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in 1976.

Professor Ben Nwabueze, a foremost constitutional lawyer, assembled prominent Igbo leaders to form the organization of which he emerged the Secretary-General of the organization spanning a period of 20 years.

The organization was effectively championed and supported by Kingsley Mbadiwe, Dr. Michael Iheonukara Okpara, Dr. Pius Okigbo, and Chief Jerome Udorji, among other notable Igbo personalities.

Key members

  • Chief John Nnia Nwodo — President-General
  • Elder Barr. Onuoha Udeka — Vice President General – Abia
  • Chief Nnanyelugo Ani Odunze “National administrative secretary” – Anambra
  • Barrister Hyacinth A. Nweke — Vice President — Anambra
  • Chief Enechi Onyia (SAN) — Vice President — Enugu
  • Chief Engr. Isaac Wonwu — Vice President — Rivers
  • Chief Chris Asoluka – Vice President — Imo
  • Dr. Joe Nworgu — Secretary-General
  • Chief Eddie Onuoha — Deputy Secretary-General
  • Prince (Engr. ) Ralph Ndigwe — National Publicity Secretary
  • Chief Elder E. O. Okparanta — National Treasurer
  • Chief Nweke Anyigor — ‘National Financial Secretary
  • Chief Reuben Okoro — National Legal Adviser
  • Barrister Ifeanyi Olunkwa — Assistant Nat. Publicity Secr.
  • Barrister I. O. Ahize — Asst. Nat. Treasurer
  • Mr. Ajoku E. Alerechi — Assistant National Fin. Secretary
  • Chief Elder E. O. Okparanta — National Treasurer
  • Chief Nweke Anyigor — National Financial Secretary
  • Chief Reuben Okoro — National Legal Adviser
  • Chief Stephen Offordike Igwe
  • Barrister Ifeanyi Olunkwa — Assistant Nat. Publicity Secr.
  • Chief Bar. Oyibo Chukwu — Ass. Nat. Legal Adviser
  • Mr. Onyenze U. Franklin – Assistant Nat Youth Leader

Organizational structure

The socio-cultural group was planned to serve as a clearing house in matters affecting the interest and general welfare of Ndigbo in Nigeria and the rest of the world. The structure at the National level has the General Assembly as the highest policy making body.

This is followed by Imeobi, the inner caucus and the Council of Elders which are serviced by Executive Committee and other various standing committees. This structure is equally replicated in the state and local government chapters. Its constitution was amended in 1999, which gives room for the integration of both the youth and women in its fold.