Don’t join any protest, Ohaneze enjoins Ndigbo

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has asked the Igbo in parts of Nigeria and in Diaspora to shun any protest over the increasing cost of living and hardship in the country, Daily Sun reports.

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation described the economic situation in Nigeria as very disturbing, but indicated that it would soon convene a meeting of Igbo economists and experts in various fields to proffer solutions to the Government of President Bola Tinubu.

President General of Ohanaeze, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu in an open message to the Igbo, on Monday, disclosed that he had received several entreaties from different parts of the country requesting him to call Igbo to join in demonstration and violent action in the country against the Government.

Iwuanyanwu said that he was still studying the unfolding events but as a leader, he had directed that no Igbo group or community in Nigeria and in Diaspora should join in the action.

According to the elder statesman, he had asked Nigerians who approached him to endorse protests what they did when the past government disfranchised Igbo land.

“Most of the Igbo are in the South East and the South East is very sadly marginalized in all ramifications. We are the only geopolitical zone that has only five states. This situation has cost us billions of financial losses. It has also cost us losses in both political appointments and legislative representations.

“In 2005 and 2014, we raised this issue at various political conferences. All men of goodwill at the conference agreed that it was unfair for the South East to have only five States and recommended that an additional State be created in the South East but up till today, this has not been done. I have severally drawn the attention of the federal government to this injustice against the South East. This statement should serve as a notice that if no step is taken by the federal government and the National Assembly towards the creation of an additional State in the South East, I will have no choice than to go to Court.Ezoic

“In the 1999 Constitution as amended, we all endorsed a federal character. Igbo by nature would have preferred the free competitive process rather than a federal character paradigm. But we realised that Nigeria is a federation comprising so many ethnic nationalities and as part of our sacrifice towards the unity of Nigeria, we accepted the federal character option but unfortunately, it has been used to manoeuvre the Igbo out of most critical positions in Government. For Example, the former President Muhammadu Buhari openly confessed that he didn’t give us our due because we didn’t vote for him.

“Youths all over the world are very restive and sensitive to any issue affecting their future. In Nigeria, Igbo youths and youths from other tribes at various times expressed their dissatisfaction with events in the Country. It is clear to us that when youths from other tribes of the country are involved they are reprimanded and forgiven; but  when the Igbo youths are involved they are arrested, incarcerated and even charged for serious offences. For example, the arrest and detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu generated a lot of problems for the Igbo. Many Igbo, including Governors, members of the National Assembly, religious leaders, traditional rulers, and business leaders pleaded with Mr President for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu but without success. Also, there are many Igbo youths detained in various correctional centres on flimsy excuses. For example, there is a case of Eze Fredrick  Nwajiagu who has been in detention in Lagos without any justifiable reason.

“Since after the 2023 general election, Igbo have been victimized over the failure of APC to win in Lagos and Abuja. It has been brought to my notice that there is a conspiracy to cripple Igbo business enterprise in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of Nigeria. All these are aimed at incapacitating the Igbo from all future political activities. 

“In some parts of Nigeria, Igbo who answer Igbo names, who are raised in Igbo culture and tradition, continue to deny their Igbo heritage. This is because some people outside the Eastern Nigeria who assume the monopoly of political power, have continued to brainwash this set of people and turned their minds against their kit and kin, the Igbo. For example, after the Civil War which was fought by the entire Eastern Nigeria this group of people profiled it as if it was a war by a few Igbo and they influenced our kit and kin in Rivers State to seize our assets in the name of abandoned property. Remarkably, the end of Civil War was based on 3Rs of Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction. Most unfortunately, the 3Rs were never implemented in the war torn areas.  History will always record the contributions of General Yakubu Gowon, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, and General Obasanjo towards the peaceful conclusion of the Civil War on the basis of no victor, no vanquished. It is regrettable that up till today, in spite of the efforts of Igbo to demonstrate their commitment to one united Nigeria, Igbo are victimized in many parts of the country and people profile them wrongly at various times.Ezoic

“It is clear to me that Igbo must work hard in order to succeed in Nigeria. It is no secret that most contracts executed by Igbo business men in Nigeria are bought from original awardees. In terms of political power, the Presidency of Nigeria was zoned to rotate between the North and the South. We accepted it. The last election was a defining moment in the country when in fact Igbo generally believed it was their turn to produce a president but some groups of Nigeria ganged up against Igbo and we failed in this quest.  We once more thank all Nigerians who have shown their patriotism and love for one united Nigeria by supporting a very credible Igbo candidate, Mr Peter Obi. These Nigerian leaders are too numerous to mention but we cannot fail to express our thanks to Chief Dr Edwin Clark, the leader of South South region, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the leader of Afenifere and Dr Bitrus Pogu, the leader of Middle Belt Forum for their courage in supporting an Igbo candidate.

“It is important to remind all Igbo that the 2023 presidential electoral matter has reached the Nigerian Supreme Court where they declared President Bola Ahmed Tinubu the winner. We don’t have any personal issues against him. As a Governor of Lagos State, he was good and charitable to Igbo.  We have therefore decided to support him. We expect him also to reciprocate this gesture by giving us what is our due in the federation. We are not asking for another person’s position.

“The economic crisis in Nigeria is very unfortunate. Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide intends to convene a meeting of Igbo top economists and experts in diverse fields to strategize on how to overcome the hardships. We will also proffer advice to President Tinubu on the economy. It is important to note that the best thing for us as Igbo is to rally round President Tinubu and to do what we can to enable him complete his tenure. Igbo are opposed to military rule. We prefer a democratic government where we can express our views,” the Igbo leader said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *