Igbos represent one of the three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. This group is not a political party, however, part of its objectives of creation is to foster unity among its members in other to better allow them to be representative within the political scenario of Nigeria.
A prototype of this party was established after the Nigerian civil war, when some prominent Igbos gathered to proclaim the need to unify Igbos under a common umbrella body. An organizational assembly was created, referred to as the Igbo National Assembly (INA).
However, this organization was later banned by the Federal Military Government at the time, as the Government feared that the Igbos via the organization cultivated a suspicious agenda.
In 1976, Professor Ben Nwabueze, a foremost constitutional lawyer, assembled prominent Igbo leaders to form the organization of which he emerged the Secretary-General of the organization spanning a period of 20 years.
In 1999, the group’s constitution was amended, which gives room for the integration of both the youth and women in its fold.
The organization was effectively championed and supported by the Kingsley Mbadiwe, Dr. Michael Iheonukara Okpara, Dr. Pius Okigbo, and Chief Jerome Udorji (who served as the first Secretary General), among other notable Igbo personalities.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo was planned to serve as a clearing house in matters affecting the interest and general welfare of Ndigbo in Nigeria and the rest of the world.
His Royal Majesty, Eze (Dr.) Cletus I. Ilomuanya is a current Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers, Imo State & Chairman, Southeast Council of Traditional Rulers.
At the National level, the group has the General Assembly as the highest policy making body.
The structure of the group also has Imeobi (means inner caucus) and the Council of Elders which are serviced by Executive Committee and other various standing committees. This structure is equally replicated in the state and local government chapters.