Apex Igbo Socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has announced a change of venue for the 2023 Igbo Day celebrations, scheduled to take place at Liberation Stadium to a more secured venue in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on the 28th and 29th of September 2023.
Ohanaeze said the decision became necessary based on intelligence and security reports suggesting a potential disruption of the event by paid hooligans and a Southeast governor with vested political interests.
A statement signed and issued on Thursday by its Secretary-general, Mazi Okechukwu lsiguzoro, noted that the organization has been alerted to a plot aimed at thwarting and frustrating the election of the next President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo from Rivers State.
The move, according to the statement, is believed to be motivated by the political ambitions of certain individuals for the 2027 elections.
“This suspicion was further reinforced by media sponsorship of non-existent and faceless groups insinuating that the Igbo Day celebrations would be disrupted.
“In light of these developments, the organization has decided to shift the venue of the Igbo Day celebrations to a more secure and restricted location.
“This is to ensure the safety and security of the attendees and to prevent any potential disruptions to the historic 2023 Igbo Day event.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide is using this medium to inform the general public and Ndigbo both at home and in the diaspora about these changes. The organization is calling for support for the election of a new President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, zoned to the Igbo-speaking area of Rivers State, slated for January 11th, 2025.
It noted that the organization has expressed its determination to resist any internal or external detractors who may attempt to fight against the Constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and deny Rivers State their turn.
The statement added that the collective will of Ndigbo is expected to prevail, as it did in 2009 when a similar scenario played out.
Nothing that it was the turn of Anioma, the Igbo-speaking people of Delta State, despite initial opposition, late Ambassador Raph Uwechue (of blessed memory) was eventually elected as President General.
Additionally Ohanaeze remains committed to ensuring a peaceful and successful Igbo Day celebration and fair election of its next President General.
Urging all Igbos to remain vigilant and united in the face of the challenges to support the organization’s efforts to uphold the principles of fairness, justice, and equity.