The apex socio-cultural body of the Igbo tribe, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday disowned leader of the proscribed indigenous people of biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, saying his recent outburst was targeted at soiling the age-long good relationship between the Igbo and the Yoruba.
Kanu had on Tuesday called on his protesters who are currently disguising as #EndSARS protesters to ambush and kill all governors, soldiers, policemen, and destroy properties of leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, as well as government infrastructures.
Kanu also claimed responsibility for burning down Oriental Hotel in Lagos as well as other government infrastructure in the state, just as he suggested that the ongoing crisis in Lagos where properties worth billions of Naira have been destroyed was because of the state governor’s decision to impose a 24-hour curfew.
But Ohanaeze Ndigbo expressed outrage over the vituperative and inciting utterances of the leader of disbanded IPOB on the #ENDSARS activities in Lagos and disassociated itself completely from them.
President-general of the organisation, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, stated this in a statement while reacting to a media release issued by a Pan Yoruba Group, the Apapo O’Odua Koya (AOKOYA) on the on-going youth uprising in Nigeria particularly in Lagos as it relates to Ndigbo youths.
Nwodo said, “We wish to state that Ohanaeze is also outraged by the
vituperative and inciting outrage of the leader of IPOB on the
#ENDSARS activities in Lagos and disassociate the body completely from them”.
Reacting to the statement of the Yoruba group, Nwodo said, “The
statement disheartening not necessarily because of the untruth in its
sentiment but that it’s obviously being engineered and targeted at the age-long good relationship between the Igbo and the Yoruba.
“Ohanaeze strongly believes that the press statement is craftily
drafted showing a skilful use of underhand tactics to achieve a set goal which in this case is to set Yoruba against Ndigbo.
“We are ready to vehemently resist this in our time knowing the historical affinity of these two great ethnic groups dating back to
the days of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe through to the famous handshake across the Niger propagated by our iconic leader Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu.
“This spontaneous relationship built by our forefathers over the years
has been strengthened in the last three years by the political
emancipation movement, being propelled by the Southern And Middle Belt leadership Forum ( SMBLF) made up of four ethnopolitical bodies of Ndigbo, in the South East, Afenifere in the South West, PANDEF in the South-South and the Middle Belt Forum in the North Central Nigeria.
“Ohanaeze feels based on the intelligence available to it that the motive
of this disturbing statement is not only to overtake the mileage
covered by this group in setting their people free from the hegemonic
bondage but to ensure its destruction,” he said.
Nwodo added that the Igbo organisation was focused on what the
Igbo want in a contemporary Nigeria as already which is to restructure
Nigeria for a true federal system where Justice and equity will reign.
He continued: “We, therefore, wish to refute any position being ascribed to Ndigbo even if such a position is being adduced by an Igbo that is not within the realm of the struggle to free Nigeria as encapsulated in the terms of agreement of this ethnic nationalities.
“Ohanaeze will therefore wish to urge the Yoruba and indeed the rest
of Nigeria to disregard any outburst from anybody as coming from
Ndigbo that is not as succinctly captured in the terms of agreement of
the ethnic nationalities.
“It’s therefore against this backdrop that Ohanaeze Ndigbo wishes to
vehemently deny the allegation of Igbo youth involvement in Lagos
#Endsars protest as part of a grand design to destroy the Yoruba economy.
“For the obvious reason of having most of their businesses scattered
all over the country particularly in Lagos, knocks out the thinking of
an Igbo setting out to destroy another person’s economy. Only a fool
living in a glass house uses stone to settle scores.
“Already, as it had always been during every crisis in Nigeria, Igbo
businesses are the target as it happened last Tuesday in Abuja when car depots, belonging to Igbos were set ablaze by hoodlums.
“Ohanaeze believes and empirically too that Ndigbo youths underlying
reasons for getting involved in the on-going #Endsars protests is not
anything different from the reasons of other youths in Nigeria which
borders on aggravated neglect of Nigeria youths due to poor governance
rooted in the dubious political structure.
“We, therefore, wish to urge the Yoruba ethnic group to disregard the position being pushed by the AOKOYA because it’s not based on facts and reality on ground.”
Southwest Govs Urge Youths To Defend Region
Meanwhile, as the #EndSARS protests continue to take frightening dimensions, the Southwest governors yesterday appealed to youths in the region to rise in defense of the land and people of the zone against the diabolical incursions ravaging its space.
The governors who said they cannot continue to fold their hands and watch the region’s heritage destroyed and the people suffer, wondered what the people stand to gain by destroying themselves.
Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum and Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), in a statement issued in Akure, appealed to the youths, especially those of Southwest extraction to be circumspect lest they lend themselves to the evil schemes of those who want to destroy the land.
The governors said, “The protests started as genuine, demanding
reforms and restitution. The current happenings across the South West,
especially Lagos State, have exposed dubiousness and complicity
evidencing malice afore-thought.”
While urging them to engage, constructively, Akeredolu appealed to
them to ‘Calm Down’.
Akeredolu said, “It is disquieting, to assert the least, that a protest, widely acclaimed as peaceful and purpose-driven, has been
hijacked by some people, ostensibly to execute a destructive design.
“You will recall that the Inspector General of Police issued an order
disbanding the special unit formerly known as Special Anti-Robbery Unit, SARS, in the wake of the protests across the country. It is also on record that the President and State Governors responded positively
to the demands of the agitators.
“A decision was reached at the National Economic Council meeting held
on the 16th October 2020 that all State Governors should set up a
Judicial Panel Inquiry to look into the alleged violation of people’s
rights and incidence of police brutality. This has been complied with.
“Resent development lives us with no other option than to believe that
there may have been other reasons for the continued protests,
well-coordinated, and funded.
“The spread of fake news and videos, which followed an allegation of
shooting by some soldiers with a claimed heavy casualty figure at the
Lekki Toll Gate, Victoria Island, Lagos, is primarily responsible for
the subsequent loss of lives and property.
“We commiserate with the families of victims of violence across Lagos
State and slain Policemen. We pray that the Almighty grant them the
fortitude to bear these avoidable losses. We also note, with much pain
and sadness, the vast and spreading destruction of property belonging
to notable individuals and vestiges of our collective patrimony and
pride. We commiserate with His Royal Majesty, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, on the sacrilege committed at his palace and condemn in no unmistakable terms the vile attack on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and destruction of businesses where it is believed he has an interest, TVC, The Nation Newspapers to mention a few.
“This regression into savagery exposes our land as not only vulnerable
but susceptible to vile manipulations by elements keenly anxious to
annihilate the South West and destroy our common heritage.”
The governors who also identified with the governor of Lagos, Babajide
Sanwo Olu, said they are deeply concerned with the ease with which
public buildings, utilities, police stations, and investments of the
people have been burnt despite the proximity of security agencies in