Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
After reviewing the security situation in the country, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, rose from its Ime-Obi (Elders Council) meeting at the weekend and declared that it would no longer watch while Ndigbo are “mindlessly slaughtered.”
The organisation expressed its determination to ensure that every human within Igbo land is defended and protected.
Notable Igbo leaders, including former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara; Former governors-Jim Nwobodo, Peter Obi, Achike Udenwa;-Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Senator Anyim Ude and Prof Uche Azikiwe, attended the meeting.
The meeting took place at the same time South East governors also held a closed door meeting at the Enugu State Government House with Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke, in attendance.
In a communique read to journalists by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo President-General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, at the end of the meeting which took place at the Nike Lake Resort in Enugu, the socio-cultural body said it was seriously concerned over the security situation in the country.
It further urged the federal government not to take states within the control of Ohanaeze, including Abia, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu, Rivers and Delta for granted henceforth.
According to the communique, “Ohaneze, having extensively considered and deliberated the lone agenda of the meeting, which is ‘Security in Ala Igbo’, and having discussed exhaustively and with deep anxiety the deteriorating security condition in the Southeast and the country as a whole, resolves as follows: ‘Ohaneze hereby states categorically that Ndigbo will not stand by and watch their people slaughtered, and that Ohaneze will defend every soul in Igbo land.
‘Ohaneze hereby nominates, activates and directs the council of elders made up reputable Igbo personalities and leaders to engage Ohaneze state governors immediately on prevailing security challenges in Nigeria.
‘Finally Ohaneze reminds Ndigbo that there have been difficulties in securing our history in Nigeria. In all these, our determination to protect our home lands and families against aggressors has never wavered, and we have always relied on our ingenuity and vigilance to ensure our survival. Let nobody take us for granted.”
Some serving members of the National Assembly, including Hon, Tobi Okechukwu, also attended the meeting which also had Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma and Nigeria’s First Republic Aviation Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, in attendance.