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Ndigbo cannot be victim of Nigeria’s unity, says Ohanaeze Ndigbo

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Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, declared yesterday that Ndigbo would not support the breakup of the country but would resist to become a victim of Nigeria’s unity.

It said that majority of Nigerians prefer unity to secession, adding, however, that such unity should exist in an atmosphere of justice, peace, equity and fairness.

Ohanaeze also gave backing to the declaration of May 30 as ‘Biafra Day” by Southeast governors, saying the time to mourn or remember the dead was traditionally a solemn occasion.

Ohanaeze said it was imperative and proper for Ndigbo to remember their own who died across the country either in genocide or the civil war in Nigeria between 1967 and 1970.

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Ohanaeze described as unfortunate the “shock threat” by President Muhammadu Buhari, stressing that “shock and awe” was reserved for enemies and not citizens, appealing to the Federal Government to reconsider the use of force in addressing the nation’s challenges.

Addressing a press conference at the Ohanaeze Secretariat in Enugu, President General of the organisation, Prof. George Obiozor, also called on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Igbo youths to employ dialogue as a means for resolving current challenges facing Ndigbo, noting that there was nothing to celebrate in violence.

He said: “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 your own ideas and approach to resolving our common problems.”

Obiozor, who expressed sadness over the situation of things in Igboland, especially increased extra-judicial killings, urged the Federal Government to take note of “ongoing human rights violations in the Southeast zone, adding: “We must beware of its international consequences and domestic implications in our ability to heal the Nigerian nation. Nigeria is at crossroads of its history and destiny. Let wisdom prevail.”

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Obiozor maintained that dialogue was the panacea to the challenges facing the country, saying it was patriotic. He added that the international community was expecting the Nigerian leadership to resolve the present national crises and not by military action.

“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 and the international community is now expecting of Nigerian leadership to resolve the current problem,” he said.

He reiterated that using violent means to solve national problems had always led to national fractionalisation, anarchy and eventual disintegration, adding that Nigerians must recognise the historical fact that in any society where injustice becomes the rule of law, “resistance becomes a duty or an obligation.”

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