Kanu was unanimously elected at a special session of the Assembly, attended by several Igbo leaders, where they also came hard on elder statesman Tanko Yakassai over his position on Biafra agitation.
Others elected included Rev Fr. John Odey- Publicity Secretary, Evang. Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko- Secretary, Dede Uzor A Uzor- Assistant Publicity Secretary, while Chief (Mrs.) Maria Okwor, remains Matron and Deputy Leader. ECA Patrons remain, Prof Ben Nwabueze, Dr Alex Ekwueme and Archbishop Anthony Obinna.
In a communique issued after the election by the Deputy Leader, Chief Mrs. Maria Okwor and the Publicity Secretary, Rev. Fr. John Odeh, the ECA described Yakassai’s recent outburst against Biafra agitation as misplaced.
The group told Yakassai that “your claimed annoyance over the agitation for secession by the great IPOB is misplaced.
“Alhaji Tanko should kindly provide answers as to why Zamfara State with NPC acclaimed population of over 5 million people should immunize only 74,000 under 5 year children during the anti polio vaccination exercise, while Imo State with NPC population of under 3 million immunized over 300,000 thousand.
“JAMB and WAEC figures year after year also confirm the fraudulent census figures; Zamfara and Sokoto states with a combined NPC alleged population of over 11 million enroll only 40 thousand candidates while Anambra state alone with an NPC population of 3 million produces over 400 thousand candidates. Man’s inhumanity to Man.”
They added that “British colonial officer, Harold Smith admitted how they deliberately, falsely empowered the North to ruthlessly use bogus population figures to dominate the south. Dear Sir, the fraudulent and oppressive census figures is one of the reasons the East can no longer accept Nigeria as presently structured.
“The deliberate asphyxiation of our people with a very wicked state and local government creation based on land mass is another reason sir.
“The falsehood that Gen. Ironsi restructured Nigeria is another wicked lie sir. Everybody knows that the very first decree of Gen. Yakubu Gowon on 3rd August 1966 was to revert to the original regions. Ironsi merely changed the nomenclature from regions to group of provinces.
“The same Gowon unilaterally created 12 states on 26th May 1967, just to split the Igbo with the Eastern minorities (According to Gowon’s interview last year). The unilateral creation of states and LGAs by Northern Generals in 1976, 1987, 1991 and 1996 is at the root of the demand for Biafra by millions of Eastern youth’s sir.”
The ECA insisted that “the refusal to peacefully restructure Nigeria sir is the reason the demand for secession is growing louder and louder. The demand dear sir will only grow louder until justice is done sir.
“As for Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu and his Northern delegate to the confab forum, we say your position by opposing the peaceful restructuring of Nigeria excites and fuels the secessionists.
“The world is surprised, why you choose to meet at this time only to energize and strengthen the clamour for secession.
“It is doubtful sir, if you pretend that you do not know that you are only arming and energizing the clamour for secession by your unreasonable and very provocative position, only time will tell.”
The Igbo group equally lauded the new Ohanaeze Leadership “for standing on the side of the people, a welcome breath of fresh air in comparison with past cowardly Ohanaeze leaderships.”
It noted that “this is the first time in over a decade, an Ohanaeze leadership is standing on the side of the people by adopting the truth and truly identifying with the wishes of the masses. We say to them: KEEP ON TRUCKING.”
Meanwhile in an acceptance speech presented by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, he said he was honoured by the election, adding “I hope all the affiliate groups in this coalition will soon join hands with us in our peaceful and nonviolent pursuit of a referendum that will allow the people decide their future.
“The horrendous injustice visited on us daily by our oppressors have since gotten to a point where we can no longer tolerate the position of eternal slavery, which they carefully crafted for us and have ruthlessly executed over the years.
“Our children today and generations to come do not have a future. Our youths are despondent, our once truthful and outspoken elders frightened and silenced, our politicians compromised, our leaders bought over.
“Our present status as race and a people is one of utter hopelessness and servitude.
“Our only hope for the future lies in a peaceful plebiscite that will settle once and for all time the burning issues that confront us today.
“I commend the ECA and strongly believe that I will not let you down. Once again, I say thank you for this great honour”, Kanu, represented by
the new IPOB coordinator, Mazi George Onyeibe, assured.