—-Disowns OHANEZE Northern Youth Council
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo Tuesday said that the people of the South East living in the 19 states of the North were not under any threat despite the 1st October deadline by the Arewa Youth for Ndigbo to vacate from the North.
The Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Chairman of Ohaneze, Mazi Odozi Nwodozi who made the clarification in a statement in Abuja, on behalf of the leadership of the Igbo in the North, told Ndigbo to ignore a statement allegedly credited to the coordinator of Northern Ohaneze Youth, Obinna Nwankwo, saying he lacked the mandate to speak for the Igbos.
Nwodozi who was a former Vice President of Ohaneze Youth Council, Anioma/Delta chapter stated that since the quit notice was issued to Ndigbo to leave the North before 1st October by the Areawa youth, the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo had commenced wide but strategic consultations with relevant persons and groups both within and outside the north with the singular aim of diffusing the tension, and securing the Igbo populace.
The FCT President of Ohaneze in the statement said, “It has come to the notice of the leadership of the Igbo in the north, the statements of some opportunistic alarmists who are trying to create non existing fears, and consequent panic in the minds of Igbo residing in the north of an impending massacre and wanton looting of their properties.
“This position is encapsulated in a recent press statement issued by one Mr. Obinna Nwankwo who arrogates to himself a non-existing position of Northern Coordinator of Ohanaeze Youth Council.”
On the position of Ohaneze leadership on the raging matter, he said, “That we wish to reiterate once again that Ndigbo in the north as represented by the Igbo Delegates Assembly, IDA, under the leadership of Chief Chi Nwogwu, totally condemn and dissociate themselves from the shameful, beggarly and degrading parley between the suspended Ohanaeze Youth Council and some northern youths.
“That we were not consulted before the purported parley; which we wouldn’t have attended or mandate our youth wing to attend as the characters that were at the center of it lack the blessings of the Igbo leadership.
“That the congregants of Ohanaeze Youth Council has surrendered its non-existing sovereignty to the Nnamdi Kanu-led IPOB, on the 28th of June 2017, and from that point they lost every right to independence of action as exemplified by their participation in the said parley.
“On the quit notice issued to the Igbo resident in the north, the leadership of the Igbo in the north, in consonance with the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo under Chief John Nnia Nwodo have since commenced wide but strategic consultations with relevant persons and groups both within and outside the north with the singular aim of diffusing the tension, and securing the Igbo populace. However, these meetings though fruitful, have been quiet.
“That the said Mr. Obinna Nwankwo should cease forthwith from parading himself as the Northern Coordinator of Ohanaeze Youth Council, as the constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has no place for such neither did he stand to be elected in the April 5th 2014 Ohanaeze Youth Council elections that ushered in the now suspended Ohanaeze Youth Council. Nor was he appointed into such position by any resolution of the Executive Council of the disbanded group.
“That it has come to our notice through our local intelligence that some elements under the tutelage of Mr. Obinna Nwankwo are plotting to ferment trouble in the north so as to create an environment of misunderstanding amongst Ndigbo in the north and their hosts, thereby causing panic, which might possibly escalate crisis.
“Therefore we call on security agencies to closely monitor the activities of the said Mr. Nwankwo with a bid to forestall a breakdown of law and order.
“We wish to state once again that the Igbo nation has a leadership structure which has Ohanaeze Ndigbo at its apex, therefore Ohanaeze Ndigbo under the leadership of Chief John Nnia Nwodo and anyone it delegates duties to, remains the authoritative mouth-piece of the Igbo nation.
“We hereby call on Ndigbo in the north to remain calm and resolute, bearing in mind that the leadership structure of Ndigbo both at the political and socio-cultural levels are working tirelessly to ensure the maximum safety of the Igbo in the north.
“ Ndigbo should ignore the alarmist tendencies of jingoist and opportunists, and go about their lawful endeavors as they will be communicated through established channels if the need arises.
“Furthermore, we wish to advise authorities at different levels to desist from any interaction with the Okechukwu Isiguzoro-led Ohanaeze Youth Council as they lack the mandate to speak or negotiate for Ndigbo.”