The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, OYC, has told President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw his “offensive statements against the Igbo nation”. The OYC spoke in reply to Buhari’s interview with Arise Television wherein he described the Igbo nation as a dot in a circle.
Buhari had said, “IPOB is just like a dot in a circle. Even if they want to exit, they will have no access to anywhere.
“And the way they are spread all over the country, having businesses and property, I don’t think IPOB knows what they are talking about.
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“In any case, we say we’ll talk to them in the language that they understand. We’ll organise the police and the military to pursue them.”
His statement has since been interpreted to mean that all Igbos in Nigeria are like “dot in a circle.”
In a communique issued after their meeting in Enugu, the OYC said it was unacceptable for a sitting President to denigrate the entire Igbo race and thereby prepare the ground for further onslaught against them.
The communique signed by OYC President-General, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike and Secretary General, Comrade Obinna Achionye said, “We recall how the President Buhari Government hastily proscribed the IPOB and tagged it a terrorist organization. And now, he has come up to refer to all Igbos as members of the IPOB and a dot in a circle.
“By implication, his statement will no doubt expose Ndigbo to further massacre as witnessed already. No wonder they are arresting and killing many Igbo youths in the name of IPOB.
“We reject in its entirety this terrorism tag on the entire Igbo nation, more so when this is coming from the same President whose kinsmen were carrying out carnage across the country but his government keeps defending them.
“In any case, no matter how Buhari sees Ndigbo, we are unperturbed; the Igbo people are making waves all over the world and if that qualifies them as dot in a circle so be it.”
The OYC, however, said they were not happy that the South-East leaders failed to pointedly caution the security chiefs over the killing and indiscriminate arrest of Igbo youths.
It said, “We keenly monitored the meeting the South-East leaders held with a Federal Government delegation in Enugu but we are not so pleased that they did not request immediate withdrawal of troops from the South-East. They did not also demand an end to the massive killing of Igbo youths.”
“It is also unfortunate that Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State is now waking up and calling for dialogue. We had advised him several times to embrace dialogue but he refused, he is now doing in the night what he was supposed to do in the morning.
“We are saddened that he is waking up after hundreds of lives of Igbo youths have been wasted under the guise that they are members of the IPOB.
“The OYC urges the South-East Governors not to shy away from their responsibility of protecting the people. They should stand firm and defend their citizens,” the OYC added.