By Emeka Aginam
The apex Igbo Organization in Diaspora, the World Igbo Congress, WIC, at the end of its 21st annual convention held in Los Angeles , California, the United States of America has urged both the Federal and State Governments in Nigeria to treat the issue of security of lives and property in the South East states and Nigeria with priority attention.
In a communiqué jointly signed by Chief (Dr) Larry Udorji, WIC Chairman, Chief Cyril Nwaguru, WIC Secretary General and Chief Jimmy Asiegbu, Public Relation Officer, the Diaspora group after deliberating on the issues presented by the group “Indigenous People of Biafra” (IPOB) noted that, whereas they share their concerns, WIC would not support or encourage bearing of arms against the government of Nigeria.
Accordingly, the group in the communiqué demanded that the Nigerian Police should cease and desist from harassing, intimidating and killing young Igbo youths for exercising their rights to free speech and lawful assembly as guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
The group called on the President to ensure that further massacre of lives of any group for exercising their free speech and assembly is stopped forthwith.
The group urges Federal Government of Nigeria to explore peaceful means of dealing with these ethnic groups.
The Chairman of WIC, Larry Udorji earlier in his speech urged Ndi Igbo to ignore charlatans and self-dealing operatives in Diaspora who do not know the difference between ground breaking and cutting of ribbon, but who were bent on bastardizing the name and image of the WIC.
The 21st annual convention centered on in depth discussion of all issues concerning Ndigbo in the present day Nigeria, including the disunity associated with Igbo groups all over the World, and under the leadership of President Buhari.
They resolved to find genuine and practical solutions to enable Ndigbo continue to pursue unity, progress, peace and being equal partners in the country.
WIC in the communiqué unequivocally condemned in strongest terms the recent comments by the Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Alhaji Ibrahim Coomasie, comparing the lawful demonstrations of unarmed members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Onitsha where three of their innocent members were gunned down in cold bold on Sunday, August 30, 2015 by members of the Nigerian Navy with the murderous and lawless Boko Haram as reprehensible and insensitive.
With continuous commitment of the group for a better Igbo state, the WIC noted that the Igbo extraction must recondition their mindset on the Nigerian-Biafran Civil War to see themselves as a vindicated people capable of existing and thriving independent of their detractors instead of seeing themselves as a vanquished people who must rely on the largess of their conquerors.
Stating that WIC will petition the United Nations (UN) against the Federal Republic of Nigeria for crimes of Genocide against Ndi Igbo during the Nigerian Civil War and the International Criminal Court (ICJ) for the extra judicial killings of ndi Igbo for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights to free speech and assembly, the group further noted that they will take all necessary and proper steps in consultation with the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Aka Ikenga, the National Association of South East Students to ensure that ndi Igbo are adequately counted in the forth coming 2016 Nigerian National Census.
The communiqué further stated that WIC under the Chairmanship of Dr. Larry Udorji will continue to pursue all necessary and proper steps to address the grievances of aggrieved members of the WIC to reintegrate them into the WIC.
Igbo public officers, the communiqué added must be willing to submit themselves to a standard of ethical leadership that demands accountability and transparency in their stewardship.
While the group sympathizes with their members with legal problems, the reputation and image of the WIC, the communique said demanded that any WIC official who is criminally indicted and/or convicted of a felonious offence must resign forthwith.