The Igbo World Assembly, IWA, the apex diaspora Igbo organization, has expressed deep worry, saying that unless Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Indigenous People of Biafra work together, the actualization of a better Igbo may be derailed.
In a statement jointly signed by IWA Chairman, Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze, Christian Onuorah, Vice Chairman and the Secretary General, Oliver Nwankwor, the group noted that Igbo’s journey to justice in Nigeria will never be achieved by one group alone, irrespective of well-orchestrated the group may be.
The tasks at hand, IWA warned required that IPOB and Ohanaeze work together as a team, at least in principle.
“Let us not diminish our efforts through unfounded insults and innuendoes. Let us not see ourselves as enemies. Let us not participate in the planning of our funerals. The greatest weapon our detractors, and their allies have against us has always been their abilities to divide and conquer.
“No group in our journey to justice should trade innuendoes and insults against each other in order to gain viability and or favors from Ndi-Igbo. We appreciate your respective groups and efforts at attaining the illusive Igbo Agenda.
“We must remember we will not actualize our dreams through in-fighting and by washing our dirty laundries in the public. It is a fact after all, that a house divided cannot stand”, IWA noted in the statement.
“Let us not discount the efforts of any group. It will be “fool hearty” to overlook and /or minimize the significance of Ohanaeze and/ or IPOB in their respective efforts at actualization of Igbo Agenda.
“What bonds us is stronger than what strains us if you make time to listens to the respective group’s agenda, leaving us to ask ourselves what is the in-fighting about?
“History will never be kind to us if we allow the in-fighting to get in the way of the tasks at hand. Since that very history has taught us that our journey to justice will not be actualized from one front. Justice, balance and or Igbo Agenda will not be accomplished with division, IWA which has been in the Vanguard for a better Igbo society noted in the statement.”
While demanding an immediate end to the rift between the two groups, IWA said that, “We have chosen to write this release in direct reaction to the recent rift between Ohanaeze and IPOB leadership and innuendoes from IPOB leader Mr. Nnamdi Kalu on Chief Barr. Nnia Nwodo, the current Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo President General and all the duly elected officials holding public trust.
“IWA is therefore categorically stating that while we appreciate the value added of the IPOB to the advancement of Ndi-Igbo, we must always be truthful to ourselves when an anomaly occurs among the groups in the trenches and the pathways of our journey to justice.
“We are therefore, calling on trailblazers not to lose track to the tasks at hand. In-fighting, we strongly believe can only weaken and divide us. A reminder to the IPOB leadership that “Oha-na-eze” is by definition, all-encompassing of “Ndi-Igbo”. Granted, constituency may differ, but in the end, result should be the same. We are all Ndi-Igbo and aspires for the same “Agenda”.
“Ndi-Igbo, Ohanaeze, IPOB or otherwise,we are looking for the same thing. A reminder therefore, that our journey to justice in Nigeria will never be attained by one group alone, irrespective of well-orchestrated the group may be”.
Believing that the approach of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and IPOB may differ in pushing for a better Igbo society, IWA called for unity among two groups on the task ahead
Quoting late Igbo warlord, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, as describing Igbos as “Egalitarians”, IWA added that , “Like most progressive nations, Igbos are not monolithic. We are not puppets on the strings.
“We must therefore, dismiss the axiom that “Ndi-Igbo has no king” as a myth used by detractors to engender conflict and distrusts among Ndi-Igbo. We, Ndi-Igbo, have leaders from time immemorial and are punctuated with shared belief that all people are created equal and should enjoy equal access to social, political, and economic rights and opportunities”
According to IWA, “Irrespective of our nature as “egalitarians”, we have always respected our leaders; from Ohanaeze, Chief Barr. Nnia Nwodo to the leadership of IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kalu, because of their respective value added to the Igbo agenda.
“For the record, Chief Barr. Nnia Nwodo and Ohanaeze Leadership have the goodwill of Igbo World Assembly (IWA), Ohanaeze Ndigbo world-wide and Ndi-Igbo in his constituency, as does IPOB and its leader Mr. Nnamdi Kalu and their followership and supporters.
“And, to the respective group, do your thing, we Ndi-Igbo respect your respective works in the trenches, minus in-fighting, innuendoes, disrespects and mud-sling”.