By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU – The apex Igbo cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has described as spurious, mendacious and the height of blackmail for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra , IPOB, to outline what it called the preconditions for peace between it and Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo regretted that after all Ohanaeze was doing to advance the interest of Ndigbo, IPOB was still recalcitrant and refused to allow peace which he said was a sine qua non for progress and the achievement of self-determination for Ndigbo.
Nwodo said that the press hype IPOB was engaging in as preconditions for reaching a peaceful coexistence with Ohanaeze Ndigbo was most unfortunate, especially after the efforts he did to challenge the Federal Government on all wrongs done to IPOB.
Nwodo who spoke through his Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Chief Emeka Attamah recalled that at his inauguration on the 11th of January 2017, Chief Nwodo had, in defiance of the obvious hatred and animosity of the federal government towards IPOB, stated that both IPOB and MASSOB were his children and that he would not abandon them because their cause was his cause.
He said that Nwodo was explicit then that there were two approaches to any struggle: violence or dialogue and that he preferred dialogue.
He further said that at all the peace meetings Ohanaeze had held with IPOB, Nwodo had always explained that the apex body had nothing to do with the proscription of IPOB by the federal government.
Attama said “On the contrary, Chief Nwodo had confronted the GOC of 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu to carry out investigation and trial of soldiers who went outside the rules of engagement in the killing of members of IPOB during the Operation Python Dance.
“When IPOB was proscribed, Ohanaeze again challenged the Attorney General of the federation to show cause why IPOB, a harmless and an unarmed pressure group, could be proscribed while Miyette Allah, the umbrella body of the killer Fulani herdsmen was being romanced by the same federal government.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo had restrained itself from engaging in a press war with IPOB because as Chief Nwodo always says, a father should not quarrel with his children in the public, but that the truth is palpably in the public domain.
“This is why all the vituperations being poured on Chief Nwodo by IPOB both on the pages of newspapers and through text messages to his phones had not elicited any challenge from Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
“I advised IPOB to see their two demands for a referendum or State of Biafra and that of restructuring by Ohanaeze as efforts towards achieving the same objective of self-determination, but under the present situation, restructuring was preferable as it precludes bloodshed.
“Nwodo has been able to galvanize Ndigbo and, indeed, the South-South, South-West, Middle-Belt and some parts of the North to embrace restructuring to ensure equity and fairness for all the federating units in the country, IPOB is rather distracting Ohanaeze from giving Ndigbo a better place of pride.
“Ohanaeze, therefore, enjoy all well-meaning Igbo sons and daughters to call on IPOB to embrace peace and form a synergy with Ohanaeze to enable Ndigbo achieve a better political and economic space for themselves in the country.”