By Vincent Ujumadu, Anayo Okoli, Charles Kumolu, Enyim Enyim & Chimaobi Nwaiwu
Awka— OHANAEZE Ndigbo, the apex-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, yesterday, took a swipe at the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, for allegedly ordering that the November 18, 2017 governorship election in Anambra State should not be conducted.
This came as Stakeholders of Willie Obiano 2nd Tenure Organisation expressed worry over the threat, pleading with IPOB to rescind its decision.
This is even as Ohanaeze Youths Council, OYC, said it would reject any restructuring of Nigeria carried out by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying it would not reflect equity and fairness.
President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, who led other national leaders of the organisation to the Anambra State House of Assembly, warned leaders of groups championing self-rule for the Igbo nation not to arrogate to themselves the supreme leadership of Igboland.
He said though it was obvious that Ndigbo were suffering marginalization in the affairs of the country, Igbo was still part and parcel of Nigeria, adding that in seeking mitigation of the injustice being meted to Ndigbo, civilized approach should be adopted.
He lashed out at the leader of IPOB for, according to him, making unguarded utterances that Anambra State governorship election slated for November would not hold, explaining that such utterance had already drawn the attention of the Inspector General of Police who, he stated, had deployed more police personnel to patrol Anambra State.
Kanu’s utterance, Nwodo stated, had breached the undertaking he took before him (Nwodo) when he was released from detention.
IPOB threat worries Obiano group
Earlier, Governor Willie Obiano, speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Legislative Matters, Chief Chiedozie Ezeugwa, said the state government was committed to the Igbo cause and would continue to do everything to support the Ohanaeze in protecting the interest of the Igbo.
In their speeches, Speaker of Anambra Assembly, Mrs Rita Maduagwu and a former national chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, said the Igbo should avoid being divided in whatever cause they would pursue in the prevailing circumstance, adding that the time to listen to the Igbo had come.
Chief Enefe, of Stakeholders of Willie Obiano 2nd Tenure Organisation, who spoke at Akwu Ukwu town in Idemili South Local Government Area of the state during a town hall meeting of Obiano support group in the area, yesterday, said such directive by IPOB was not good for the development in Igbo land.
About 1,500 members of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, and people from other political parties had gathered to give their support for Governor Willie Obiano’s second term bid during the town hall meeting.
We’ll reject restructuring done by Buhari govt —Ohanaeze youths
Also, Ohanaeze youths said they would rather prefer a restructuring exercise to be overseen by an Igbo leader or a leader from the South but not from the North.
According to them, any restructuring conducted by the Buhari administration would definitely favour the North, thereby leading to continuation of the agitations.
Secretary General of the Council, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, who said this, explained that restructuring of Nigeria overseen by a leader from the South would definitely ensure equity and fairness to all parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the council has alleged plan by unnamed Igbo leaders to plan the arrest and detention of its leader, Maxi Okechukwu Isiguzoro over statements the group has been issuing in support of Biafra agitation.
Youth leaders to hold confab on Biafra, restructuring
In another development, plans have been concluded by youth leaders in the Niger Delta region to hold a conference on the current agitations for the realisation of Biafran state and calls for restructuring with a view to coming up with a position.
A statement by the chairman of the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum and former governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Mr. Moses Siasia, said the gathering, which would hold in Port Harcourt, was informed by the current debate on restructuring.
The statement read: “60 carefully selected young leaders across the Niger Delta will be meeting in Port Harcourt next week over calls for the immediate restructuring of the country by prominent Nigerians and geopolitical groups on the basis of a growing national consensus to redefine the connections that bind the country and the disturbing hate comments from many groups.”
“The roundtable meeting was born out the current national discourse on the need to restructure the country and redefine our existence as a people.
“The meeting will also address internal issues in the region, such as the need for political leaders who are occupying public trust to be more accountable to the people. It will fashion out economic solutions that will aid the much need growth and development in the Niger Delta so that those who are into productive ventures in the society would be encouraged with the aim of moving out of the old order, where miscreants are celebrated.”