By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA—THE Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, yesterday, said youths in the South-East were justified in asking for justice and equity, saying they should not be condemned, but listened to, to see if their complaints are genuine.
The Ooni, who spoke in Umuahia when he paid a visit to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu at Government House, contended that rather than discard the name Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, it should be renamed Indigenous People of Brighter Nigeria, IPOBN, and the issues being agitated for looked into.
The monarch said: “There is something that is making them to cry. We should not throw them away; we should draw them closer. The youths of this country are the future, the energy— they are the heartbeat of this country.
“There is no need for war or disunity in the country, but there is need to tell the youths that disintegration will not pay.
“Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, can be renamed and rebranded Indigenous People of Brighter Nigeria, IPOBN, as the youths are the heartbeat of our country.”
He urged Governor Ikpeazu and other South-East leaders to open their doors, bring youths in and re-orientate them.
Oba Ogunwusi said he was in Abia State “to continue the oneness we preach concerning the unity of this country and to continue to build bridges across the entire country,” explaining that he will join Ndigbo in the celebration of their New Yam festival with Eze Eberechi Dick, Chairman of South-East Traditional Rulers’ Council, at Obingwa Council area of the state.
In reference to the position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo that Nigeria should be restructured to ensure equity, justice and fairness, the Ooni said the Yoruba race shared same view on the way forward for a better and all inclusive Nigeria.
He commended the people of South-East zone for their contribution to national development, saying “Igbo people are truly the life line of this country with their can-do spirit, which I am very proud of.”
Gov Ikpeazu’s reaction
In his remarks, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu said he was honoured and privileged to play host to the Ooni and commended him for being in tune with national issues and making positive contributions for national rebirth.
“I am a firm believer that this country is strong today because of its diversity,” Ikpeazu said, adding “we are not going to be tired until we ensure that a good number of our youths are gainfully employed and make a decent living.”