By Dennis Agbo
Ohanaeze Ndigbo has cautioned members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to be careful on how they go about creating enemies for Ndigbo and jeopardizing the Igbo relationships with their good neighbours.
Ohanaeze particularly flayed the unsavoury remarks IPOB made against the leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, and apologized to Chief Clark for IPOB’s youthful exuberance displayed against Clark.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo made it abundantly clear that the Igbo extol old age with courtesy and reverence, noting that old age is so treasured in Igbo land that the eldest man in a village or community, in most cases, enjoys community burial and funeral rites at death.
“The old are deemed to represent the Igbo ancestors here on earth and thus are often celebrated,” Ohanaeze said.
National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnia said that it is public knowledge that youths, all over the world, have some common characteristics which include impetuosity and exuberance.
The Apex Igbo body said that as much as the effervescence and exuberance of the youths are the essential hallmarks of a growing society, it is still the duty of the elders to moderate the excesses and idiosyncrasies of the youth.
It told the young Igbo that it was on record that Chief Edwin Clark is one of the few detribalized Nigerians with an unassailable love for the Igbos who have in more than several ways demonstrated an intense passion for the Igbo.
Ohanaeze recalled that”It was Chief Clark who facilitated the renovation and equipment of the Queen’s School, Enugu with state of the art facilities shortly after the Nigerian civil war. Eminent Igbo women that passed through the school, such as Justice Rose Ukeje (rtd), Justice Victoria Nebo, Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Prof. Ifeoma Enemuo, Prof. Ifeoma Egbuonu, Mrs Justina Offia (SAN), Prof. Gloria Chukwukere, etc, are some of the testaments of Clark’s magnanimity.
“Since then Clark has remained one of the Patrons of the School to the present day. It was Clark, who has spoken vehemently against the Igbo marginalization and has propelled the concept of a president of Nigeria from the South East. It was Clark who had stated that the agitations by the Igbo are justified, among several others.
“It is important to urge our youths to refrain from remarks capable of putting the Igbo relationships with our highly valued neighbours in avoidable distress. The Igbo agitation, no doubt, is genuine but restraints, persuasions and cordial inter-ethnic relations are required to sustain the supports of other ethnic groups in Nigeria,” Ohanaeze cautioned.
It reminded IPOB that the Leaders of the South East, South-South, South West and Middle Belt converged and chose Chief Clark as the indefatigable leader of Southern Nigeria and Middle Belt Forum, SMBLF, because of his sterling qualities.
“I must also add that one of the most cherished of his enviable leadership qualities is the exceptional courage of his innermost convictions and the ability to speak truth to power.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor holds Chief E K Clark in very high esteem. Our profound admiration for him is beyond measures and will always condemn any form of attack on his person.
“We, therefore, hope that the unsavoury remarks by our youths will not weaken his passion and commitment for the Igbo.”