The Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Thursday chided the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), saying that he has a choice between dialogue or an avoidable war against the Igbo.
Ohanaeze justified the agitation for Biafra by Igbo youths through various pro-Biafra groups, adding that Buhari’s nepotistic and sectional government reenforced separatist agitation in the South East.
Buhari had while responding to questions from team of journalists on agitation for Biafra by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), said that “tougher times await the people of the South East of Nigeria”.
But Ohanaeze in statement titled “Buhari: A choice between dialogue and war”, signed it’s National Publicity Secretary, by Chief Alex Ogbonnia, said that Buhari since inception of his regime has not hidden his disdain for the Igbo that failed to vote for him en-masse in 2015.
The statement partly read: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo has followed with deep concern the security sequence targeted at the Igbo: the deliberate posting of Northern Military and Police Officers at the various strategic locations in the South East.
“The Special National Security Council Meeting, where major decisions were taken for the South East and the South South to the utter exclusion of security personnel from the South East of Nigeria.
“The ominous Launching of the Operation Restore Peace in the South East and South South.
“The Shoot on Sight Order by the Inspector General of Police targeted at the Igbo Youths,
“And the “Shock Tweet where Mr. President stated that “those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand”
“Today, June 10, 2021, Mr. President stated on Arise TV that “Tough Times await the South East”. He reiterated: “In any case, we said we will talk to them in the language they will understand. We will organise the police and the army to pursue them, that’s what we can do and we will do it.”
Ohanaeze added, “for clarity, there has been a sustained agitation for secession by the Igbo youths, especially the IPOB, the Indigenous People of Biafra, led by Mr. Nnamdi Kanu. The agitation by IPOB became heightened by the obvious exclusion of the Igbo in the President Buhari’s government and Mr. President has not in any way hidden his disdain for the groups that failed to vote for him en-masse in 2015 and 2019 general elections.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo has cautioned that the unprecedented lopsidedness of the Nigerian government in favour of the Fulani, to the exclusion of other ethnic groups, especially in the security architecture, will rather exacerbate the internal security challenges in the country. History shows that leaders who espoused ethnocentric ideology, especially in Africa had often created more problems than they intended to solve.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo believes that the agitation by the Igbo youth over marginalization is justified. In spite of the orchestrated alienation of the Igbo, we are committed to a diplomatic approach towards a restructured Nigeria that guarantees equity, fairness and rule of law.
“With the present level of violence in Nigeria; armed robbery, banditry, kidnappings, unknown gunmen, herdsmen menace, Boko Haram, mass poverty, unemployment, downward spiral of Nigerian currency and other untoward signals, Nigeria has arrived at a critical juncture. Both history and literature show that the decision taken by a leader at a critical juncture has a lasting effect for the society.
“President Buhari has a choice between Dialogue on one hand and an avoidable War against the Igbo on the other. Again, history shows that our thoughts are very infinitesimal to the immutable Law of the Universe.”