IPOB, Imo Police clash over attack on monarchs

•Tasks Umahi on political solution for Kanu’s freedom

Disrupting poll ‘ll cause Igbo huge set back

Lock down’ll hurt Mrs Aguiyi Ironsi’s Nov 5 burial

By Anayo Okoli, Clifford Ndujihe & Steve Oko

DISTURBED by the negative implications of the seven-day sit-at-home directive by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, for the Anambra governorship election, the state and the South-East zone, and Nigeria, Ohanaeze Ndigbo have begged the separatist group to reconsider the stand.

Last week, the IPOB vowed to observe a seven-day lock down as from November 5 in support of its detained Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, unless he is released by the Federal Government on or before November 4.

Noting that Anambra is the economic live wire of the South-East, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said any harm to the state will “create untold disastrous chain reactions and catastrophe for the Igbo.”

The apex Igbo group spoke as  first cousin of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Mr Chijindu Offor  raised fresh concern over the IPOB  leader’s health and pleaded with the federal government to grant him access to his personal physicians for thorough medical attention.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze urged the Chairman, South-East Governors Forum and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi to convene an emergency meeting of Igbo stakeholders and Youth Leaders for the purpose of addressing the legitimacy crisis in the zone especially as it relates to Anambra State election and the political solution for the release of Nnamdi Kanu.

 The statement read: “The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide pleads with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to reconsider the 7 days’ Sit at Home order in the South-East of Nigeria from November 5 to November 11. This is to enable the governorship election for Anambra State scheduled for November 6 to hold.

“It is important to note that Anambra State is the economic live wire of the South East with an impressive steady growth trajectory. For instance, Anambra State showcases the best rural road network and rural community development in the South East if not in the entire Nigeria. Anambra is home to the greatest number of small, medium and large scale industries in the South East. Most recently, Anambra has added a cargo airport to its resource base.

“Above all, Onitsha is the largest market in West Africa. The implication of the above illustration is that Anambra State is the melting pot of Igbo traders and artisans. It stands to reason that Anambra is the big  Iroko tree that provides a shade for most Igbos. Apart from the shade, it also hosts the numerous birds that perch on the branches. Therefore, any harm to the Iroko tree will create untold disastrous chain reactions and catastrophe for the Igbo.

“While pleading with the IPOB to rescind the Lock Down plan, Ohanaeze Ndigbo requests the Chairman, South East Governors Forum and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi to convene an emergency meeting of Igbo stake holders and the Youth Leaders for the purpose of addressing the legitimacy crisis in the South East, especially as it relates to Anambra State election and the political solution for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“It is important to point out that one of the causes of the crisis of confidence in the South-East is because of the yawning gap between the Youths and indeed the masses on  one side and the political leaders on the other.

“Therefore, the leadership of the various youth groups should not be excluded in any meeting aimed at resolving the current crises in Igbo Land. In other words, the youths want to be  fully convinced of our commitment to their plight.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo reiterates its solidarity with any group that protests the Igbo alienation in the project Nigeria with a caution for restraint, maturity and wisdom. It is based on the foregoing that Ohanaeze adopts the philosophy of dialogue, negotiations in coalition with other concerned groups that comprise the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum led by Chief E K Clark.

“It is also lamentable that the burial ceremony for the Afara Ukwu born Chief Mrs Victoria Aguiyi Ironsi, slated for November 5 in Umuahia, Abia State may be drastically affected by the prevailing Igbo social climate. General JTU Aguiyi Ironsi represents so many things to the Igbo and we owe his soul a duty.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo urges the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willy Obiano to convene a joint meeting of the Anambra State chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief Emeka Udodeme and the Association of Towns Union (ASATU) led by Barr. Titus Akpudo with a view to activating meetings in all the 181 towns of Anambra State. The traditional rulers, Archbishops, Bishops and the Clergy are also requested to brace up in their roles as the cultural and spiritual leaders of society.

READ ALSO: Anambra Decides: Reconsider 7-day sit-at-home directive, Ohanaeze begs IPOB

“Ambassador Professor George Obiozor, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide is very perturbed that the serenity, tranquility and aggressive entrepreneurship for which the Igbo are known are gradually yielding to the unknown dark forces. He is more perturbed when the Anambra ordeal  is juxtaposed with the calibre of personages for which the state is known. Some of them include Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Dr. Alex. Ekwueme, Professor Chinua Achebe, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Professor Chike Obi, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Cardinal Francis Arinze, Professor Dora Akunyili, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, Dr. Nwafor Orizu, Professor Keneth Dike, Peter Obi, Professor ABC Nwosu, Engr. Arthur Eze, Dr. Chris Ngige, Igwe Alfred Achebe, etc and numerous young and old billionaires.

 “In many respects, Anambra is the engine that propels the Igbo enterprise. As elders, we should not fold our arms while the goat dies in the tether.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo is of the conviction that the disruption of the Anambra State election and its adverse consequences are a major setback to the Igbo civilization.”

Fresh concerns over Kanu’s health

Offor who made the plea in a media chat said he was seriously worried over the health status of Kanu which he noted was very obvious during his last court appearance and said he needed urgent medical examination and care by his personal doctors who have his medical history.

He said that the Department of State Services, DSS, where the IPOB leader is currently detained “lacks the needed facilities to handle his health challenges”, hence the compelling need to allow him access to his private doctors “to properly take care of him”.

Kanu’s cousin warned that the IPOB leader’s medical condition could worsen if not properly managed by experts, a sad development he said could even result to his death.

He said that Kanu’s death in custody would serve Nigeria no good but worsen matters for the country as the aftermath of   such tragedy will be too enormous to handle.

He therefore, urged the federal government to heed the appeals from various quarters to engage Kanu in dialogue with a view to resolving the cause of the growing agitation for self determination.

According to him, only dialogue and meaningful engagement of  the necessary  stakeholders will resolve the various agitations for self determination in the country.

Offor  urged leaders of the country to stop pretending and convene a round table discussion where the various genuine national questions will be frankly addressed to save Nigeria  from the precipice.

He said that intimidation and use of brute force by  government could not quail the growing agitation for self determination by different regions in the country which he said was as a result of the general disenchantment in the land.

According to him, the earlier government listens to the voice of the masses, the better for the country, “otherwise the country will only be postponing the doomsday.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.