Ohanaeze Ndigbo, a pan socio-cultural group of the igbos, has distanced the Igbo tribe from provocative statement inciting the destruction of Yoruba assets in Lagos, credited to the leader of proscribed Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The group, through a statement issued by the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, said that Ohanaeze was outraged by the vituperative and inciting outrage of the leader of IPOB, a designated terrorist group, on the #ENDSARS activities in Lagos and disassociated the body and Ndigbo completely from them.
The statement titled: #Endsars: “Alleged destruction of Yoruba economic assets”, the Ohanaeze position, unequivocally denied any involvement with IPOB or its leader.
“The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex socio-cultural and Political body of Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to a press statement 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. We find 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 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. Ndigbo is focused and unequivocal about what they want in a contemporary Nigeria as already articulated in the terms of engagement of this group which is to restructure Nigeria for a true federal system where Justice and equity will reign.
“We, therefore, wish to refute any position being ascribed to Ndigbo even if such 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 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 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 a target as happened last Tuesday in Abuja when car depots, belonging to Igbos were set ablaze by hoodlums.
“Ohanaeze believes and empirically too that Ndigbo youths haveA 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 the ground. Finally, 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 and Ndigbo completely from them.”