Thursday, October 5, 2017

Igbos should forget Biafra and insist on restructuring - Ohanaeze Ndigbo

President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, declared in Abia State, on Thursday, that the region desires restructuring and not an independent state of Biafra.

Nwodo said this during the inauguration ceremony of newly-elected officials of Abia chapter of  Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in Umuahia.

He reiterated that restructuring of the polity remains Igbo’s position, in an ongoing debate about Nigeria’s future.

“We should forget Biafra and insist on restructuring; there is no Igbo person that is happy with the situation of things in Nigeria, we must seek for peaceful ways of resolving the issues.”

The group’s position is, however, at variance with that of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which is in the vanguard of Biafra campaign.

IPOB has specifically urged the Federal Government to convene a referendum that would berth Biafra, for the South East and some parts of the South South.

But, Nwodo reiterated, on Thursday, that Biafra is a tall order, given constitutional roadblocks in this dispensation.

He has also expressed dismay over the spate of hate speech on social media platforms by Igbo youths, under the guise of agitating for Biafra.

Nwodo said making inciting speech is capable of causing crisis which could lead to mass violence in the nation, and added that is pertinent to respect constituted authorities. He said the first hand experience he had during the civil war has given him an understanding of the throes of war  and that no country fights two wars and survived.

“There are 11.6 million Igbo people living in the North and, it will be wise for Igbo people living in the South East, and elsewhere, to put them into consideration while speaking or engaging in certain activities.

“I urged Igbo youths to desist from activities and comments  that could spark violence in the nation. At the moment, what  Igbo people need to fight for is restructuring of  the nation.

“Ohanaeze is in an era of transparency. I assure you that we have not relented in speaking for the Igbo people, especially in the area of restructuring for the benefit of Igbo people.”

He added that while the youths are justified in expressing their anger at the way Igbo are being marginalised in national affairs, they should moderate their actions and words.

The Ohanaeze leader revealed that, in their engagement with IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, it was impressed on him that he and his members should tone down their words and desist from denigrating people and groups.

Nwodo also disclosed that Kanu was told that his insistence on Biafra restoration and boycott of the November 18, 2017 election in Anambra State was not acceptable to Ndigbo, hence, he should abandon his rigid position and join in the quest for restructuring.

Nwodo equally justified proscription of IPOB activities by the South East Governors Forum. He explained that what the state chief executives did was to stop IPOB from engaging in activities which included fatal clashes with security agencies. He said without the action taken by the governors, the zone ould still be engulfed in bloodshed, and added that he would not sit by and allow youths of Igboland be cut down prematurely.

Declaring the event open, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu said Nigeria, and the world at large, is passing through perilous times, hence, the need to seek amicable ways to stop it from further denigration.

“We believe in justice, equity and fairness. I believe in live-and-let-live as nobody delights in being oppressed.”

Ikpeazu said it is the responsibility of every Igbo person to respect Igbo leaders  and support their efforts in campaigning for political and economic restructuring of Nigeria.

Earlier, in his address, Abia State President of Ohanaeze, Mr. Chimaobim Ajuzieogu said the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation would “no longer sit on the fence; neither shall we continue to observe as spectators, in the affairs that affect us.

Elder statesman, Emmanuel Adaelu, who was chairman on the occasion, called for unity among Ndigbo, and said  the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo should be recognised as the voice of Igbo and no group should try to usurp that authority.
Sun News

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately it is not in the hands of the so called ohaneze to decide over Biafran agitation. We have had enough from both ohaneze and the rest of the Nigerian leaders.