HISTORY OF OHANAEZE NDIGBO WORLDWIDE
Ohanaeze Ndigbo is a non-partisan, non-sectarian pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation designed to provide a platform where Ndigbo, within and outside Nigeria, may come together for the purpose of nurturing better understanding and harmonious relations amongst themselves, with other ethnic groups in Nigeria, and with all communities wherever they reside. Its membership is individual and corporate. Beside direct individual membership Ohanaeze is an apex umbrella of various Igbo communities and interest groups. Also, it serves as a clearing house and a focal point of direction and collective leadership in matters affecting the interest and general welfare of Ndigbo in Nigeria and the rest of the world. Peace and fraternal love with all, especially our Nigerian compatriots, has always been a cardinal goal of Ohanaeze.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo was founded in 1976. The founding fathers include great and revered leaders like Dr. M.I. Okpara, Chief Dennis Osadebe, Dr. K.O. Mbadiwe, Chief M.I. Ugochukwu, Dr. Pius Okigbo, Chief Jerome Udoji (the first Secretary-General), Prof. Ben O. Nwabueze, Ezeogo Dr. Anagha Ezikpe, Sir Onyeso Nwachukwu, Chief Bob Ogbuagu and the indomitable Dr. Akanu Ibiam (the first Chairman, in whose Enugu residence the first meeting in 1976 was held).
The present Ohanaeze constitution provides for a Local Government Area OHANAEZE comprising all the Town Unions or Autonomous Community Associations in the Local Government Area. From Local Government Area Ohanaeze, the structure builds up through the State Ohanaeze to the National Ohanaeze. The structure at the national level has the General Assembly as the highest policy-making body. This is followed by Imeobi and the Council of Elders which are serviced by the National Executive Committee (NEC) and other various Standing Committees. This structure is replicated in the State and Local Government Chapters.
For the Ohanaeze in Diaspora, Imeobi Ohanaeze shall designate areas of the world from time to time which may have Ohanaeze Chapters similar to State structure and which areas will participate in deliberations of all organs of Ohanaeze at the National level.