The apex socio-cultural group of the Igbo, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has told the Federal Government to assent to the request by some Northern groups for South East to exit from Nigeria, insisting that the Igbo are no longer safe in the country.
In a statement in Abakaliki, Secretary-General of the Chidi Ibeh-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, noted that they had assessed the standpoints of the Northern groups that approached Abuja Federal High Court, explaining that their action was informed by the need to curtail violence and destruction as a result of the agitation for secession championed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Isiguzoro applauded the Northern groups for indirectly divulging clandestine conspiracies from the North to push the South East out of Nigeria, as being championed by the Coalition of Northern Nigeria Groups.
The statement reads: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has assessed the standpoints of the Northern groups that approached Abuja Federal High Court to request that the National Assembly should be coerced by the court before their conclusion on the ongoing constitution amendment to allow the South East to exit from Nigeria.
“The plaintiffs led by Nastura Shariff, Balarabe Rufai, Abdul-Aziz Sulaiman, and Aminu Adam, explained that their action was informed by the need to curtail violence and destruction as a result of the agitation for secession championed by IPOB.”
Meanwhile, disturbed by the negative implications of the seven-day sit-at-home directive by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, for the Anambra governorship election, the state, and the South-East zone, and Nigeria, the group have begged the separatist group to reconsider the stand.
Last week, the IPOB vowed to observe a seven-day lockdown from November 5 in support of its detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, unless he is released by the Federal Government on or before November 4.
Noting that Anambra is the economic live wire of the South-East, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said any harm to the state will “create untold disastrous chain reactions and catastrophe for the Igbo.”
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze urged the Chairman, South-East Governors Forum, and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi to convene an emergency meeting of Igbo stakeholders and Youth Leaders for the purpose of addressing the legitimacy crisis in the zone especially as it relates to the Anambra State election and the political solution for the release of Nnamdi Kanu.
The statement read: “The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide pleads with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to reconsider the 7 days’ Sit at Home order in the South-East of Nigeria from November 5 to November 11. This is to enable the governorship election for Anambra State scheduled for November 6 to hold.
“It is important to note that Anambra State is the economic live wire of the South East with an impressive steady growth trajectory. For instance, Anambra State showcases the best rural road network and rural community development in the South East if not in entire Nigeria. Anambra is home to the greatest number of small, medium and large-scale industries in the South East. Most recently, Anambra has added a cargo airport to its resource base.
“Above all, Onitsha is the largest market in West Africa. The implication of the above illustration is that Anambra State is the melting pot of Igbo traders and artisans. It stands to reason that Anambra is the big Iroko tree that provides a shade for most Igbos. Apart from the shade, it also hosts the numerous birds that perch on the branches. Therefore, any harm to the Iroko tree will create untold disastrous chain reactions and catastrophe for the Igbo.
“While pleading with the IPOB to rescind the LockDown plan, Ohanaeze Ndigbo requests the Chairman, South-East Governors Forum and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi to convene an emergency meeting of Igbo stakeholders and the Youth Leaders for the purpose of addressing the legitimacy crisis in the South East, especially as it relates to Anambra State election and the political solution for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“It is important to point out that one of the causes of the crisis of confidence in the South-East is because of the yawning gap between the Youths and indeed the masses on one side and the political leaders on the other.
“Therefore, the leadership of the various youth groups should not be excluded in any meeting aimed at resolving the current crises in Igbo Land. In other words, the youths want to be fully convinced of our commitment to their plight.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo reiterates its solidarity with any group that protests the Igbo alienation in the project Nigeria with caution for restraint, maturity and wisdom. It is based on the foregoing that Ohanaeze adopts the philosophy of dialogue, negotiations in coalition with other concerned groups that comprise the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum led by Chief E K Clark.
“It is also lamentable that the burial ceremony for the Afara Ukwu born Chief Mrs. Victoria Aguiyi Ironsi, slated for November 5 in Umuahia, Abia State may be drastically affected by the prevailing Igbo social climate. General JTU Aguiyi Ironsi represents so many things to the Igbo and we owe his soul a duty.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo urges the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willy Obiano to convene a joint meeting of the Anambra State chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief Emeka Udodeme and the Association of Towns Union (ASATU) led by Barr. Titus Akpudo with a view to activating meetings in all the 181 towns of Anambra State. The traditional rulers, Archbishops, Bishops, and the Clergy are also requested to brace up in their roles as the cultural and spiritual leaders of society” Ohanaeze Ndigbo said
ANAMBRA ELECTIONS: NYSC Members Threaten To Boycott Election Over IPOB Order, Say They Don’t Want To Die
It is been reported that some National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members in Anambra State have to boycott the forthcoming governorship election over constant threats from the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
According to the Daily Post, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, often relies on corps members for the conduct of elections in all parts of the country. They are often used as Presiding Officers, PO and Assistant Presiding Officers, APO 1, 2, and 3 in most polling units during elections.
But sequel to the tension currently rocking Anambra State following moves by IPOB to halt the election, corps members serving in some local government areas of the state said that they are not interested in taking part in the election currently being threatened.
IPOB had declared sit-at-home in order to halt the election, insisting that the Southeastern region does not need any election. It stressed that the Federal Government must call for a referendum that would determine the corporate existence of the country.
According to media reports, IPOB members are also angered by the continuous incarceration of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who has been in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, since June 2021 following his rearrest from an undisclosed country.