Ohanaeze Ndigbo logo (file photo)
‘Ned Nwoko gave us N3 million the day Daniels took us to his house last month but you dare not ask how the money was shared. It is known to her, the secretary and maybe few others, yet she will be claiming that she is using her personal money to feed and accommodate us’
By Valentine Amanze
The women wing of pan-Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, is indeed in a big mess over its involvement in the ongoing political campaign and other issues.
The Mrs. Rita Daniels Chukwuji-led leadership is also facing allegations of high-handednes lack of accountability in resource managment and using the platform to feather her future political adventures among others.
Besides, Chukwuji has been accused of ignoring the leadership structure and procedures in Ohanaeze Ndigbo by assigning her cronies, including the Secretary, Mrs. Ifeoma Okafor, to take charge of “juicy positions” and as well single-handedly deciding critical issues that affect members.
For instance, she was alleged to have tricked state leaders of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo (women wing) across the country to attend a ‘meeting’ and turned them into becoming loyalists of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not minding the implications.
At the “Enlarged Exco meeting of all the NEC members and State women leaders’’ on Monday January 23, 2023 with 22nd as arrival date at Emerald Hotel, Asaba, Delta State, the women, who came from different parts of the country, were compelled to attend state government functions with her.
Besides accompanying her to the Atiku/Okowa Presidential campaign flag-off, the women were made to attend other state government functions and had to spend two extra days against their wish on the orders of Chukwuji, who at her discretion, handed transport monies to some of them Wednesday night before they departed Asaba for their respective states Thursday morning.
Though many never hid their displeasure over the twist of events, it was gathered that the participants who had no choice than wait on the instructions of Chukwuji or ‘Mother-General’, as she is fondly called, to decide their fate.
All the members escorted her to the stadium for the Atiku/Okowa Presidential campaign whereby some of them who sustained injuries due to stampede were rather curiously asked by Chukwuji if they had never attended such events as political rallies before.
‘Mother General’, according to some women who had fallen apart with her, enjoys women sing her praises, especially during events and whoever is indifferent is often tagged and subsequently ‘disciplined’ by either being set up, ridiculed or bullied by her loyalists.
Meanwhile, a member who would not want her names printed for fear of victimization recalled how Chukwuji used one of her stooges to humiliate and ridicule one of the National Executive Council (NEC) members for meeting with state leaders without her knowledge and approval at Emerald Hotel.
Chukwuji and her cronies, it was gathered, plotted and set-up a NEC member from one of the eastern states. She using one of her girls from Bayelsa State to discredit the NEC member and even shouting at her in such an embarrassing manner that suggests her authoritarian mien and public disgrace against a fellow woman.
“In Ohanaeze structure, there is hierarchy which we are expected to follow, but nothing like that and she is not carrying the NEC members along. How can it be only her and the Secretary be the ones deciding what is happening in Ohanaeze women wing?
Except if it is the apex body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo that gave her the go ahead in whatever she is doing, the aggrieved member said almost all that the Rita Daniel Chukwuji-led executive is doing since she came on board almost two years now is outside what the group stands to project.
Describing the Chukwuji-led group as being turned into what it is not, the source argued that the way and manner women, including some who are attending such gatherings for the first time are shouted at or treated does not speak well of the reputable Ohanaeze Ndigbo stands for.
“Look at how they treated the woman representing Niger State, kept her standing for over 30 minutes because the secretary’s accusation. The woman was there and had wanted to defend herself but they didn’t allow her. Is that how organisations are run and why would you treat a fellow woman as if she is your house girl you can order around?
“Rita brags that she has the likes of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Ned Nwoko and other political big-wigs behind her. This, according to her, goes a long way to prove the fears that she is using the platform to work for her political and personal enrichment against the promotion of the socio-cultural values of the Igbo race.
She recalled that, “Ned Nwoko gave us N3 million the day Daniels took us to his house last month but you dare not ask how the money was shared, it is known to her, the Secretary and maybe few others, yet she will be claiming that she is using her personal money to feed and accommodate us”.