Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi says that the alleged suspension of Engr Damian Okafor, the embattled National President of the Youth Wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide is illegal and unconstitutional.
Umahi stated this while playing host to the group which was on a courtesy call at his office at New Government House, Ochoudo Centenary City, on Monday in Abakaliki.
He said it is illogical for a group of persons to allege to have suspended the Ebonyi representative in the body that was duly elected by the National Executive Council.
Umahi said: “I learned of what was happening when some people came together and said they have suspended the National Youth Leader of Ohanaeze. For me, it is not correct and it is not something anybody should give any attention to.
“The Constitution is there; you were elected by NEC and it is only NEC that can suspend you.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo should not be politically motivated and we stand against that.
“Defend the course of Ndigbo, because you have members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and you have APC members; the moment you start defending one person, then you are now partisan and it is not right.
“Nobody can remove any officer that is zoned to Ebonyi and elected by the NEC. Nobody, even if the Youth leader is standing alone, even if these wonderful men and women are not supporting, he remains the youth leader and nobody can remove him from office.”
He commended the Youth Wing of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, led by Okafor, and urged them to lend their voice to the Igbo course in 2023.
“I want you to note it and note it very well because I will also not allow you to downgrade the status of Ohanaeze, you people should not attack the leaders, it is only when people are attacking the course of Ndigbo, then you have to respond and defend that.
“Let us just be decent by our cultural values to do things very decently and please be the youth leader to All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) states, PDP states, and the APC states.
Okafor, in a brief remark, said that the visit was part of the group’s efforts to reach out to leaders in the zone in the quest to achieve permanent peace and security in the zone.
He also commended the Ebonyi governor and chairman of the South-East Governor’s Forum for his untiring efforts to finding a lasting solution to the security challenges bedevilling the zone and the nation at large.
The youth leader also appreciated the governor for the support he always extended to the group as well as the fatherly advice.
Okafor was accompanied on the courtesy visit by the Ebonyi President of the Socio-cultural organisation, Chief Peter Mbam, the National Vice President, Chief Okeagu Ogada, and the National Treasurer, Mrs Beatrice Eze.