By our Correspondent
Ahead of the January 2021 election of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, palpable fear appears to have gripped some of the contestants for the office of President-General of the apex Igbo sociocultural organisation following the formal declaration of interest in the race by Dr. Chris Asoluka.
Barely two weeks to the election, some of the presidential aspirants have openly expressed their fears over continuing with the race, saying the emergence of Dr. Asoluka in the PG race has slimmed their chances of clinching victory in the coming election.
Investigations revealed that the some candidates have resorted to several unprintable manipulations and manouverings with the sole intent to attempt to diminish the soaring approval Dr. Asoluka’s aspiration has received within the ranks of Ohanaeze Ndigbo across the states and the Diaspora.
An Ohanaeze chieftain, who preferred anonymity, told our correspondent that the recent hasty and purported endorsement of a particular aspirant by some Imo elders was a calculated plot to shift public opinion which favoured Dr. Chris Asoluka as well as intimidate other aspirants out of the race.
According to him, another crude ploy to discredit the former lawmaker and pioneer President of Aka Ikenga was the recent blackmail by the so-called Concerned Igbo Youth Assembly, CIYA, based in Enugu, who are allegedly calling on EFCC to urgently investigate Dr. Asoluka over unsubstantiated fraud allegations.
The source maintained that although all the aspirants for the post Ohanaeze PG could be said to be qualified, Dr. Asoluka stands out among them because of his unmatched level of commitment to Igbo cause and impeccable record of solving socio-political problems.
He described the petition to the anti-graft as ill-timed and a laughable gimmick deployed to mislead the unsuspecting Ohanaeze delegates and the general public and urged the people to ignore their petty antics.
He queried: “Why is Comrade Ugwu Benjamin, if there is a person like that, coming up with the petition now. Where has he and his self-styled Concerned Igbo Youth Assembly been before now. They were just woken up from sleep by their paymasters and they began to throw their stones.
“The original petitioners in 2009 have abandoned their petition when they could not substantiate the allegations. What locus has Ugwu together with his CIYA to demand reopening of the case except for the purpose of blackmail? Or are they acting on behalf of Tony Gray Okpe, the original petitioner who has denied any association with the faceless body?
Meanwhile, further checks by our correspondent revealed that the cellphone purportedly belonging to the comrade (08133295651) is for a female subscriber in the northern Nigeria while the phony group (CIYA) does not have an office at the said 21 Chime Avenue, Enugu as claimed.
It was also learnt that Tony Gray Okpe has dissociated himself from the faceless group just as their purported petition was mere farce fraudulently designed to orchestrate smear campaign against Dr Asoluka.