Saturday, June 5, 2021 9:44 am
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, on Friday, through its President-General, Dr. George Obiozor, advised Southeast youths not to resort to violence and agitation for secession.
However, Obiozor, a former Ambassador to the United Nations, apart from condemning President Muhammadu Buhari’s fire spitting statement, especially reference to the civil war, asked the Federal Government to probe the atrocities committed by trigger-happy security officials in the South East in recent times.
–Read what Frederick Forsythe, the British novelist, wrote on British atrocities against the Igbo here
Obiozor told journalists in Enugu: “The last time I checked or heard a President speak of shock and awe, it was reserved for the enemy, not the citizens.”
The Ohanaeze Chief was actually referring to Buhari’ statement that many of those misbehaving today “are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Biafra war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
Obiozor, however told the youths: “I strongly advise them that there is nothing to celebrate in violence. We cannot change our lots and situations by steering and provoking hatred amongst ourselves, raining insults and abuses on ourselves and declaring war against those who disagree with your own ideas and approach to resolving our common problems.
“What good does it do to us in the destruction of government institutions and facilities, most of which were built by our own people and donated to the government for our own benefit and the general good of the society?
“I appeal to Igbo youths to kindly avoid violence in spite of all provocations. We know how aggrieved we all are, but peace options are the best.
“Ohanaeze once more urged the Federal Government to reconsider the use of force in resolving the present national crises.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide considers it imperative on the part of the Federal Government to conduct urgent indepth investigations on the destruction of lives and property in the Southeast.”
Obiozor, who condemned the level of extra-judicial killing of innocent Igbo youths by security agents in the Southeast, according to The Nation, reiterated that history shows that military and violent means to solve the national problem often lead to national fractionalization, anarchy- and eventual or inevitable disintegration.
He regretted that Nigeria has “a history of crises and continuity as well as creative use of crises as means of solving our national political problems whenever we are near the brinks of catastrophy. In the recent past, we have had NADECO, Niger Delta militants and Boko Haram insurgency.”
Ohanaeze told the federal government to realise and be confident enough that no secessionist forces can defeat Nigeria, adding “the present situation in the country will soon be history. This too shall pass.”
He added: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide calls for a dialogue to resolve the present national crises. The Federal Government should acknowledge that because of the reality of Nigerian irresistible pluralism, it is always preferable to go for dialogue instead of force.
“Majority of Nigerians prefer unity to secession or separatism. They want justice, pace, equity and fairness. The golden rule of do unto others what you would like done unto you, that is complementarity and inclusive governance.
“In fact, a brief glance at Nigerian society, there is no shortage of villains among our political elites. But like many societies a deeper look into Nigeria, you will see that the country’s political heroes still exist, though the villains may noisily dominate the political space.
“Consequently, to secure Nigeria, to develop Nigeria and to have peace, the Federal Government should immediately engage all Nigerian groups through their various leaders in an urgent dialogue.
“Dialogue is what patriotic Nigerians, Nigerian well wishers/ admirers and the international community is now expecting of Nigerian leadership to resolve the present national crises, and not military action. It is time for peaceful action and dialogue; not war and destruction.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo calls on the Federal Government to take note of the ongoing human rights violations in the South East zone.
“We must beware of its international consequences and domestic implications in our ability to heal the Nigerian nation. Nigeria is at a crossroads of its history and destiny. Let wisdom prevail.”