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Insecurity: Ohanaeze says Igbo will not be victims of Nigerias’ unity

By Our Reporter

The Apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said that in as much as Ndigbo would not support the break up of the country, the Igbo people would also not be victims of Nigeria’s unity.

To that end, the Ndigbo mouthpiece, therefore warned the Federal Government against using the military to address the insecurity in the Southeast region but employ dialogue and other non-violent methods.

This was just as it “as unfortunate the implications of the President’s statement,” where President Buhari alluded to the 1967-1970 genocide that characterised the Nigerian Civil War.

Addressing a World Press Conference at the Ohanaeze Headquarters in Enugu on Friday, June 5, 2021, the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Ambassador George Obiozor, urged the government to investigate the destruction of lives in the South East region.

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He also urged President Buhari and the Federal Government to adopt dialogue rather than the use of force in resolving the present national crises.

Ambassador Obiazor noted that the use of military and violent means to solve the national problem would lead to fractionalisation of the country and complete anarchy.

“To secure Nigeria, to develop Nigeria and to have peace, the Federal Government should immediately engage all Nigerian groups through their various leaders in an urgent dialogue”, the Ndigbo leader said.

Obiozor stressed that Igbo would not support the break-up of Nigeria, but at the same time would not be victims of Nigeria Unity.

The Apex Igbo socio-cultural group also called on the Federal Government to declare a public holiday on May 30th every year as a Biafran Day in Nigeria.

The appeals were contained in a communique issued to newsmen, after the press conference.

Prof. Obiozor asserted that “no secessionist forces can defeat Nigeria.”

He equally condemned human rights abuse in the South-Eastern part of the country, stressing that though Ndigbo were in support of a United Nigeria, “they will not be victims of the country’s unity.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo supports the Southeast Governors declaration of a public holiday on May 30th as a Biafran Day. For Ndigbo and most Africans, a time to mourn or remembrance of the dead is traditionally a solemn occasion”, Professor Obiozor stressed.

According to him, “It is imperative and proper for Ndigbo to remember Ndigbo and others who died across the country either in the genocide or civil war in Nigeria from 1967 to 1970.

Also, the body also urged the governors of the South-East to roll out the Ebube Agu Security outfit.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo wants to make it categorically clear that Ndigbo will not support the break-up of Nigeria but Ndigbo will not be victims of Nigerian unity.

“In this context, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide consider as unfortunate the implications of the President’s statement. The last time I checked or heard a President speak of shock and awe)it was reserved for the enemy, not for citizens”, Obiozor bemoaned.

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Parts of the communiqué read:

“I also want to appeal to all Igbo youths involved in violence and strongly advise them that there is nothing to celebrate in violence. We cannot change our lots and situations by steering and provoking hatred amongst ourselves, raining insults and abuses on ourselves and declaring war against those who disagree with our own ideas and approach to resolving our common problems.

“What good does it do to us in the destruction of government institutions and facilities, most of which were built by our own people and donated to the government for our own benefit and the general good of the Society.

“I appeal to Igbo youths to kindly avoid violence in spite of all provocations. We know how aggrieved we all are, but peace options are the best.

“Ohanaeze once more urges the Federal Government to reconsider the use of force in resolving the present national crises.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide considers it imperative on the part of the Federal Government to conduct urgent in-depth investigations on the destruction of lives and property in the South East.

“May I repeat that history shows that military and violent means to solve the National problem leads to national fractionalization, anarchy and eventual or inevitable disintegration. The Federal Government should realise and be confident enough that no secessionist forces can defeat Nigeria.

“The action of any of the secessionist groups will continue to be like a river threatening an ocean with drowning. We must also recognize the historical tact that in any society where injustice becomes a rule or law, resistance becomes a duty or an obligation.

“Nigeria has a history of crises and continuity as well as creative use of crises as means of solving our national polítical problems whenever we are near the brink of catastrophe. In the recent past, we have had NADECO, Niger Delta Militants and Boko Haram Insurgency. The present situation in the country will soon be history. This too shall pass.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide calls for a dialogue to resolve the present national crises. The Federal Government should acknowledge that because of the reality of Nigerian irresistible pluralism is that it is always preferable to go for dialogue instead of force.

“Majority of Nigerians prefer unity to secession or separatism. They want Justice, Peace, Equity and Fairness. The golden rule of ‘do unto others what you would like done unto you,’ is complementarity and inclusive governance.

“In fact a brief glance at Nigerian society, there is no shortage of villains among our political elites. But like many societies a deeper look into Nigeria you will see that the country’s political heroes still exist, though the villains may noisily dominate the political space.

“Consequently to secure Nigeria, to develop Nigeria and to have peace, the Federal Government should immediately engage all Nigerian groups through their various Leaders in an urgent dialogue. Dialogue is what patriotic Nigerians, Nigerian well-wishers/admirers and the international community is now expecting of Nigerian leadership to resolve the present national crises and not military action.

“It is time for peaceful action and dialogue, not war and destruction.

“Finally, Ohanaeze Ndigbo calls on the Federal Government to take note of the ongoing human rights violations in the South-East zone. We must beware of its international consequences and domestic implications in our ability to heal the Nigerian nation. Nigeria is at the crossroads of its history and destiny. Let wisdom prevail.”

Obiozo however, advised Igbo youths against acts of violence and destructions of government institutions and facilities.

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