By David-Chyddy Eleke
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has condemned the burning of the statue of late elder statesman, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, in Onitsha, during the recent EndSARS protest in Nigeria.
Protesting youths, who have been identified as secessionists had, during the EndSARS protest in Onitsha, burnt the statue, saying that Azikiwe is partly responsible for the trouble of the Igbo because of his ‘one Nigeria’ stand.
The President, Ohaneze Ndigbo youth worldwide, Ambassador, Arthur Obiora, in a statement in Awka said: “We the young people of the Igbo speaking area under the auspices of the Ohaneze Ndigbo Youth Wing Worldwide, wish to use this medium to call for calm and restoration of law and order in the country.
“We condemn the desecration of the statue of the late great first President of Nigeria and Igbo icon, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. We want to say that those who desecrated the statue of would not go unpunished.
“Those who burnt the statue of Zik in Onitsha did not show respect to Igbo, the West would never do such to the statue of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.”
Speaking on the protest, which led to the destruction in most parts of the country, Obiora said: “We are in total support of the #EndSARS protest demanding an end to police brutality, extortion, torture and killings of innocent citizens especially young persons by different units of the police force, with special emphasis on SARS.
“There are numerous cases of our people who have fallen victims to police brutality and for that reason, we commend the initiators of the protests for providing an opportunity for young people to express their grievances concerning such acts.
“We commend Mr. President and the federal government for accepting and granting the five demands of the young people during the protests.
“That none of the five points were dropped nor amended clearly shows that for once, young people have collectively gotten the government to listen to our sincere agitations on an issue.
“We also commend the state governments that have already set up their judicial panels of inquiry as part of the demands of the #EndSARS protests and call on others to do same so that the panels can get to work and deliver on the directive of the federal government.
“We commiserate with our brothers and sisters of South-west extraction for the great loss suffered, most especially in Lagos State.
“We also commiserate with the families of those who lost their lives and all the state governments that have suffered great economic loss due to the massive vandalism and looting that took place these past couple of days.
“We pray that peace is restored immediately, so that rebuilding and restoration will commence immediately.
“We commend our brothers and sisters in the northern part of the country who resisted all forms of provocation instigated by traitors who do not mean well for our country.
“We acknowledge that we are one people, with a common goal and destiny. Our greatness will only be realized when we work together as one people.
“Ohaneze calls on every young person to desist from acts and utterances that are aimed at plunging this country into chaos. We will not allow anyone derail this country on its course to greatness.
“Finally, Ohaneze will like to reaffirm and pledge our commitment and support to a united Nigeria. We pray that God will continue to bless and keep us together and united.”