Igbo not separating from Nigeria, Obiozor insists
• Warns Kanu, other Biafra agitators
President General (PG) of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, yesterday, cautioned the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and all those championing the cause of separation from Nigeria, insisting that they should understand that Igbo nation was not at war with anyone or the rest of the country.
He specifically warned Kanu against his agitation for Biafra as a separatist state, stressing that such demand was beyond him, noting that Ndigbo has nothing pending before any institutional authority that demands a separate existence from Nigeria.
Addressing a press conference at the Ohanaeze secretariat in Enugu yesterday, the first since his election on January 10, 2021, Obiozor advised that all utterances and actions on account of Biafra must be avoided for diplomacy as a veritable tool.
He added: “Kanu is one of us and he must listen to some of us for several reasons. The fact and reality are that the issues of Biafra are above and beyond his capacity to decide. He must listen because he is one of us and we are all in this dilemma together. And our mutual and collective responsibilities are sacred and must be respected. Consequently, all actions or utterances that put Ndigbo in present and imminent danger or harm’s way must be avoided.”
Waxing philosophical, the ex-envoy referred the agitators to a statement by the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu that the “bones shall rise”, stressing that by the statement, Ojukwu never meant conflict, violence, and war, but that “Ndigbo are builders and not nation wreckers or destroyers.”
He continued: “Ojukwu meant the return of the ‘can-do spirit of Ndigbo that turns difficulties into dividends’ and obstacles into opportunities. Therefore in this context and in the spirit of the times and collective interest of Ndigbo, I appeal to our son, Kanu – act well your part – for there your honour lies.”
Obiozor stated that what faces Ndigbo at the moment ought to transcend partisan politics, make-believe, rhetoric, propaganda, and shadow boxing, adding that time for reality anchored on ideal leadership had come for the people.
He said he did not vie for the topmost office of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisaton for self-aggrandizement, but to offer service at one of the most critical time in Nigeria’s history.
Taking a critical look at the challenges facing Igbo in the country, the don said security had become a compelling primary responsibility and of serious concern to Ndigbo, having exposed them to physical violence, attack and destruction of their houses or properties at the slightest crisis in any part of the federation, promising that his administration would address the issue headlong.
On the economy, he stated that Ndigbo had not been found lazy, but have thrived on individual achievements, assuring that a new era of collective efforts was about to start with the AlaIgbo Stabilisation Fund.
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