Ohanaeze Ndigbo: No Plan to Apologise over 1966 Military Coup, Says It was Military Affair

*Ikwerre group faults Iwuanyanwu, denies being Igbo

Segun James

President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has said the pan-Igbo group has no intention to apologise for the 1966 coup as it was a strictly military affair.
Iwuanyanwu made the assertion at the weekend in Owerri, the Imo State capital while addressing newsmen.
This is coming as the claim by Iwuanyanwu that Ikwerre in Rivers State, is part of Igbo, has drawn the ire of the Ikwerre socio-cultural group, the Iwhnurohna Progressive Organisation (IPO).
The leader of the Igbo apex group denied claims made by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) that Ohanaeze Ndigbo was planning a trip to Sokoto State to apologise to the North over the 1966 military coup.
“We can’t go to beg anybody. Igbos were killed in that coup. As far as Ohanaeze Ndigbo is concerned, Igbos did not have any affair with the 1966 coup. It was purely a military affair.

“It’s not true, it’s fake news. The man that even carried the fake news has apologised. What happened was that we had a retreat at Enugu. Nobody talked about it. The only thing we did was to appoint a peace and reconciliation committee because we want peace for our people in Lagos State and everywhere else.
“First of all, the Igb didn’t carry out any coup. People who were killed were not killed by Ndigbo; they were killed by soldiers. Igbos didn’t kill anybody. The coup was carried out by soldiers. It was purely a military affair with nothing to do with the Igbo. We have no reason to apologise to anybody. Ohanaeze Ndigbo objects.
“The Igbos may been involved but they were wearing military uniforms. Igbos didn’t kill anybody and we are not begging anybody. I have never accepted responsibility for that coup. Nobody told Nzeogu to do a coup just like nobody told the others that did coups in Nigeria”, Iwuanyanwu added.
According to him, part of the mandate of the peace and conflict resolution committee set up by the body is to look into how to compensate Igbos whose shops were destroyed or razed by fire in markets and had nothing to do with the alleged apology to the north.
Further, he disclosed that Ohanaeze Ndigbo will publish a book titled “Our Story” to tell the story from 1949 about Ndigbo to correct the misrepresentation from different authors and quarters.

Iwuanyanwu maintained that he had championed the cause of Ndigbo worldwide even at personal costs, including the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“At my age, I expect people to respect me. I don’t earn a salary as President-General. I used my personal money to pay the backlog of six months’ salary of the staff. I championed the release of Nnamdi Kanu and made it an Ndigbo demand and even his family knows this.
“I was shocked to hear the voice note circulating all over the world that we held a poorly attended retreat in Enugu and insulting me. Most people know it is false. But in that meeting, we had over 200 people in attendance. I didn’t see the need to invite the governors just for the inauguration of committee members.
“We set up industrialisation, health, agriculture, skill acquisition, relief agency, and peace and conflict resolution committees. Already, people have acknowledged and congratulated us for our actions so far,” he said
Meanwhile, the Ikwerre socio-cultural group, the Iwhnurohna Progressive Organisation (IPO), led by Dr. Okahchukwu Dibia at the weekend said it was offensive, insulting, shameful, disgusting, insensitive, careless, and uncivilised for Iwuanyanwu to be credited with the falsehood and unfounded claim that Ikwerre people were Igbo.

Reading the position of the members after a meeting in Port Harcourt, Dibia said:  “To us at IPO, Ikwerre is Igbo means that all the ancestral communities in Ikwerre originated from Igbo. This is not true and can never be true, hence our reply to him and indeed Ohanaeze.
 “For the avoidance of doubt, the Ikwerre people are a distinct ethnic nation recognised in Nigeria and the United Nations. Ikwerre language is one of the recognised languages in Nigeria and the United Nations (UN).
“Whoever is in doubt can contact the appropriate government authorities in Nigeria and the UN. While Ikwerre is our political name, Iwhnurohna is our native name, and both refer to the same people: Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality.
“We live and own the Emohua, Ikwerre, Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City (in alphabetical order) local government areas in Rivers State, Niger Delta, South-south geo-political region of Nigeria”.
He said: “Consequently, IPO’s reply to Iwuanyanwu is that language, name, dances, songs, and dressing cannot be and should not be used as determinants of who Ikwerre is. “IPO’s reply to Iwuanyanwu on the history of Ikwerre is that Iwhnurohna is a Federation of Aborigines and Migrants who have come together under one political roof called Ikwerre Ethnic Nation. It is therefore very unthinkable and childish to claim that Ikwerre is Igbo because of the existence of few Aro communities allowed to settle in Ikwerreland”.

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