- Says insecurity of Ndigbo has reached incrementally dangerous level of existential threat
- Says safety of Igbo people will be priority of Ohaneze
By Adedayo Akinwale
The apex Igbo social-political organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has lamented that insecurity of Igbo people in Nigeria has reached dangerous level of existential threat, saying Igbo are the most vulnerable and victims of violence throughout Nigeria.
Its President, Prof. George Obiozor, stated this Wednesday while addressing a press conference in Enugu, but assured that the security and safety of Igbo people would be the priority of the new exco of the organisation.
He said it was obvious that at this critical time, the leadership of Ndigbo ought to transcend partisan politics, make-believe, rhetorics, propaganda and shadow-boxing.
Obiozor added that it was imperative that the primacy of Igbo interest, as opposed to self-seeking agenda and mere political ambition should be the bedrock on which Igbo desirable and ideal leadership must be anchored.
The Ohaneze President stressed that generally, not only had governance become both difficult and complex in Nigeria, but downright an existential threat to Ndigbo in particular.
Obiozor stated: “The most urgent and imperative need of Ndigbo today is security. The security of Ndigbo in Nigeria and beyond has become a compelling primary responsibility and of serious concern for Ndigbo. At home in Nigeria the story of insecurity of Ndigbo has reached incrementally dangerous level of
existential threat. Ndigbo are indeed in terms of security, the most vulnerable and victims of violence throughout Nigeria.
“They are the most exposed to physical violence, attack and destruction of their houses or properties at the slightest crisis in any part of Nigeria. In fact, this victim syndrome, vulnerability and insecurity has gone beyond our shores, in Ghana, South Africa etc. There must be a solution to security problems of Ndigbo at home and abroad.
“The Igbo nation is not at war with Nigeria and has nothing pending before any institutional authority that demands a separate existence from Nigeria. Nnamdi Kanu is one of us and he must listen to some of us for several reasons.
“The fact and reality are that the issues of Biafra are above and beyond his capacity to decide. He must listen because he is one of us and we are all in this dilemma together. And our mutual and collective responsibilities are sacred and must be respected. Consequently, all actions or utterances that put Ndigbo in ‘’present and imminent danger’’ or ‘’harm’s way’’ must be avoided.”
Obiozor emphasised that for far too long Ndigbo had been object of stereotype and profiling which ended in being misunderstood and misrepresented in national politics or business or academia.
He stressed that negative profiling had been an Igbo cross to carry since Nnamdi Azikiwe’s emergence in Nigerian politics in the 1940s.
Obiozor stated: “We are now at a point to reassess the Igbo dilemma in Nigeria. Every major group even the minorities are doing same today. Ndigbo in all indication see restructuring as the most preferred option. However, whatever or whichever options others offer, what is real is that all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria will sooner or later go into negotiations or debate over the future of Nigeria and we must be prepared.
“Specifically, Ndigbo seek unity but not unity of slaves and masters and we seek peace but not peace of the grave yard. We seek justice because we know that throughout history those denied justice have had no interest in peace.”
Ohaneze insisted that Nigeria needs re-alignment, restructuring, renegotiation, decentralization or devolution of power, stressing that it must be done to save Nigeria, adding that Ohaneze would navigate the Igbo destiny through this precarious time of uncertainty, doubt, and general insecurity.