From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
Chief Enwo Igariwey, who was recently elected President-General of the Igbo apex body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in the controversial election that held on January 12, was among three presidential candidates who yesterday appeared before the Senator Ben Obi peace committee recently set up by the South East Governors’ Forum.
Other presidential candidates, who appeared before the committee, which sat at the Enugu residence of House of Representatives member, Hon. Ogbuefi Ozongbachi, were Senator Azu Agboti and former Minister, Chief Igwe Aja Nwachukwu. Others, who were also interviewed by the committee, which started sitting on Thursday were the chairman of the election committee, Chief Chris Asoluka, Mrs. Grace Eneh, who was used to replace Chief Richard Ozobu as secretary, Dr. Joe Nworgu, who was elected Secretary-General among others.
The meeting with the candidates, which was held behind closed doors, started at about 12 noon yesterday with other committee members, Professor Joe Irukwu, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma of the Enugu Anglican Diocese, Monsignor Obiora Ike, chairman of the committee Senator Ben Obi and Hon Ozongbachi in attendance. Although journalists were not allowed at the meeting, our reporter gathered that one of the dominant issues was the absence of Senator Agboti and Igwe Ajanwachukwu at the January 12th election where the duo were reported to have stepped down. Mrs. Grace Eneh, who had a chat with newsmen shortly after she was interviewed, told newsmen that the committee was trying to get facts from persons involved in the election.
Chief Igariwey expressed confidence that with the caliber of personalities in the committee that peace can be achieved. Secretary of the election committee, Chief Richard Ozobu, who pulled out of the committee over what he described as irregularities in the guidelines, had planned for another election in Ebonyi January 19th before they were stopped by a court injunction.
Governors of the South East, who were absent from the January 12 election, had in their last meeting in Enugu set up the committee to wade into the crisis in Ohanaeze, with a view to reconciling the warring parties. The governors also urged all those in court to withdraw their cases and urged those involved in the face off to stop making statements in the interest of peace.