Let’s have authentic Ohaneze

By Mazi Nnamdi Nwaigwe

Now that the universally recognized pan-Igbo socio-cultural organization, OHANEZE ND’IGBO, has a leadership that is truly reflective of what our ethnic nationality connotes in the scheme of things, it is about time we made it Oha na Eze indeed. A grassroots umbrella institution!
The rallying association of Igbo people, wherever they are in Nigeria, along the Atlantic Coast and in the Diaspora, must be structured in line with the typical Igbo culture and tradition.
An acceptable Igbo group grows from the roots upward. What we parade and tolerate today as Ohaneze Nd’Igbo is actually an elitist contraption that is airborne without roots of any description – adventitious or tap root.
To truly qualify as an Igbo Voice, the organization must grow from the autonomous communities, through the local councils, the states and up to the National Executive Committee.
The composition of all the organs should be through well know Igbo way of (s)electing leaders. That is by a combination of identification, selection and weighting. A general assembly will normally give it’s imprimatur through affirmative action or voting to confer it with legitimacy.
Issues of vital interest to the Igbo nation will also be handled using the same route to reflect what both the masses (OHA) and the leader/s (EZE) want or approve.
As earlier indicated, the current President General of Ohaneze Nd’Igbo, Nnia Nwodo, has demonstrated, by speech and action, that he feels the unmistakable pulse of the Igbo nation. He should begin to work for the grassroots formation of authentic Ohaneze. We should have functional branches of Ohaneze in EVERY Igbo autonomous community! The name should serve as a battle cry, a call to duty, an identity, a code, complete protocol when Nd’Igbo assemble, and finally, whoever has Igbo DNA should react at the word OHANEZE! Not Ohaneze Nd’Igbo. There is no Ohaneze Ndi Awusa or Ohaneze Ndi Yoruba. Ohaneze is an ID tag for us, Nd’Igbo. A metaphor of sorts!
When we hear AFENIFERE or AREWA, most literate Nigerians know who or what they refer to. So let it be with OHANEZE! Let’s build a formidable Igbo organization to be generally accepted and respected by Nd’Igbo everywhere. It should be, not only socio-cultural but also socio-political and unmistakably so. That’s why it’s leadership should grow from the grassroots. The present national executive, led by our highly respected Chief Nnia Nwodo, should take up the gauntlet and recreate Ohaneze to truly reflect the core nature of Igbo people and the authentic voice of Nd’Igbo.

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