An apex Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Thursday disowned the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and his movement, saying that statements credited to him were not only provocative but misleading and unproductive.
Speaking in Awka on Thursday, the President-General of Ohanaeze, Chief John Nnia Nwodo announced the disinheritance of the group at the plenary session of Anambra State House of Assembly, Awka.
Nwodo regretted the call by IPOB for a boycott of Anambra State Governorship election in November, saying that Kanu had breached the undertaking he took before him (Nwodo) when he was released from detention.
“I’m just being paternal. The way I commended them as my children is the way I have the right to chastise them when they go wrong. We don’t need this heat up.
“The news that reached us in the past few days that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB has declared that there will be no election in Anambra in November is shocking and disturbing. I hereby countermand that declaration as President General of Ohaneze,” Nwodo said.
Continuing, the Ohaneze President said that Ohanaeze was not oblivious of the marginalisation and unfair treatment of the Igbo which has given rise to self-determination movements in Igboland, adding that leaders of the movements must not arrogate to themselves the supreme leadership of Igboland.
The statement further reads: “Statements of the kind credited to Nnamdi Kanu are provocative, misleading and unproductive. Why should Anambra people be denied the opportunity to choose their own leader.
“Why should any of us who are not from Anambra, no matter how highly placed, descend to the arena and dictate for Anambra people when to vote, whether to vote or who to vote for?
“Anambra, and the Igbo are still part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Yes, we are not happy with our treatment in Nigeria.
“Yes, some of us want Biafra. Yes, some of us prefer a restructured Federal Republic of Nigeria. But the fact remains that we are still part and parcel of the present Federal Republic of Nigeria, bound by its laws, no matter how repressive or unjust.
“Our approach to reforms of our laws even if it leads to self-determination or restructuring must be lawful. We must convince other Nigerians of our point of view, we must strive to make others share our convictions.
“As we speak very many of our people living in Northern Nigeria are in complete awe and consternation regarding how safe they will be after October 1st. Other Northerners living amongst us are also worried.
“The Inspector General of Police has taken public notice of Nnamdi’s comments inviting a possible invasion of Anambra by the Nigeria Police, increasing the already existing siege of our people which lead to daily extortion on our highways. All these developments have arisen out of unguarded utterances.
“I find no venue more suited for the statements I make here. Every constituent part of Anambra is represented here. I believe that the honourable members here are competent enough to carry the Ohanaeze message to every nook and cranny of Anambra State.”
Nwodo called for people to be civil in the use of language, be respectful and in so doing lead to consensus building.
While stating that the organisation would visit other Houses of Assembly in Igbo-speaking states, Nwodo called on the people of the southeast to resist any attempt to create division as to which way to go.
He added: “We are happy with the peace that exists here. We are happy with the steady progress Anambra has registered over the years. The next election can only improve not retard it.”
Earlier in his speech, Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Legislative Matters, Chief Chiedozie Ezeugwa said that the state government was committed to the Igbo cause and would continue to do everything to support the Ohanaeze in protecting interest of the Igbo entity.
In their different speeches, the duo of the Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Mrs. Rita Mmaduagwu; and the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Victor Umeh, said the Igbo should not allow themselves to be divided in whatever cause they wish to pursue in the prevailing circumstance, saying that the time for the Igbo to be heard had come.
•Ohanaeze President-General John Nnia Nwodo.
Source: News Express