Ohanaeze Lagos bickers over Ooni’s comment on origin of Igbo
Crises appear to be building up in the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos State chapter as a section of the executives have disowned the recent statement credited to its President, Chief Solomon Ogbonna, that the Igbo originated from Ile- Ife, not from Israel as held by majority of Ndigbo.
During a recent visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ogbonna had corroborated the Ooni’s analogy that Ile-Ife in Osun State is the ancestral home of the Igbo.
In an interview with Daily Sun in Lagos recently, Chief Evelyn Okere Onyung, Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos, condemned the assertion by the Ohanaeze leader, saying: “It is totally unacceptable for Chief Solomon Ogbonna, as leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos, to travel to Ile-Ife in Osun State, assume the role of chief spokesman of the Igbo race, and begin to speak on issues that he clearly has no knowledge about. “Going by his analogy and misrepresentation of facts and the true historical background of the Igbo, it is quite clear that he lacks the competence to speak for Ndigbo on such a sensitive issue.
“He would have allowed prominent traditional rulers from Igboland, with in-depth knowledge of the history of Ndigbo to handle such matters.”
She stated that as a graduate of history and someone with sound knowledge on the identity and origin of the Igbo race, she would not be tempted to go into debate with the highly respected Yoruba monarch, but would prefer first class Igbo traditional rulers to respond to the Ooni’s controversial claim that the Ndigbo originated from Ile-Ife and that they have brotherly ties with the Yorubas.
Onyung, therefore, called for the resignation of the Ohanaeze leader for poor performance, not carrying the executives along and running a one-man leadership.
According to her, “since the inception of his leadership, he has continued to run the association like a private business, not being accountable to members, usurping the roles and offices of other executives, among other constitutional infractions. His lack of consultations with his executives and other vices against the associations, such as turning Ohanaeze Lagos into partisanship during last elections, turning members against one another, among others, has further created disunity in the association.”
In the same vein, Uguru Kalu, an ex-officio of the chapter, berated Ogbonna for distorting the true historical origin of the Igbo race. He said: “Even when it has been proven with empirical facts by renowned historians, archaeologists and notable scholars and researchers that the Igbo truly originated from Israel, it is disappointing that someone who claims to be the leader of Ohanaeze in Lagos will brazenly distort the origin of his people.”