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Ohanaeze directs Ndigbo not to join ‘hardship’ protest

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Ohanaeze ndigbo has made a clarion call to igbo youths to join the Nigerian Police

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has directed the Igbos all over the country not to join the ongoing protests against hardship.

Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in a statement titled “Message to all Igbos Worldwide,”  urged the Igbos to show their support for President Bola Tinubu. Noting that the hardship faced by Nigerians will soon be a thing of the past.

The statement from Ohanaeze’s president Partly, reads, “I write as your leader at this critical period in our country, Nigeria.

“Events in Nigeria today are no doubt very disturbing. The economy has turned very bad, and a sense of frustration is everywhere.

“I have received many entreaties from many parts of the country requesting me to call Igbos to join in demonstrations and violent action in the country against the government.

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“As your leader, I am directing that no Igbo group or community in Nigeria or the Diaspora should join in this action.

“I am still studying the situation. I have asked Nigerians who approached me the following questions: What did they do when the past government disfranchised Igbo land?”

Speaking on the alleged marginalization of the Igbos in the country, the Ohanaeze threatened to take legal action if steps were not taken to correct the “injustice” meted out to the Igbos.

Iwuanyanwu said, “Most of the Igbo are in the South East, and the South East is very sadly marginalized in all ramifications.

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“We are the only geopolitical zone that has only five (5) states. This situation has cost us billions of dollars in financial losses. It has also cost us losses in both political appointments and legislative representations.

“In 2005 and 2014, we raised this issue at various political conferences. All men of goodwill at the conference agreed that it was unfair for the Southeast to have only five states and recommended that an additional state be created in the Southeast, but up until today, this has not been done.

“I have severally drawn the attention of the federal government to this injustice against the Southeast.”

“This statement should serve as a notice that if no step is taken by the federal government and the National Assembly towards the creation of an additional state in the Southeast, I will have no choice but to go to court.

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“In the 1999 Constitution as amended, we all endorsed a federal character. Igbos, by nature, would have preferred the free competitive process rather than a federal character paradigm.

“But we realized that Nigeria is a federation comprising so many ethnic nationalities, and as part of our sacrifice towards the unity of Nigeria, we accepted the federal character option, but unfortunately, it has been used to maneuver the Igbo out of most critical positions in government.

“For example, the former President Muhammadu Buhari openly confessed that he didn’t give us our due because we didn’t vote for him.”

Calling for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, Ohanaeze noted that “youths all over the world are very restive and sensitive to any issue affecting their future. In Nigeria, Igbo youths and youths from other tribes at various times expressed their dissatisfaction with events in the country.

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“It is clear to us that when youths from other tribes of the country are involved, they are reprimanded and forgiven, but when the Igbo youths are involved, they are arrested, incarcerated, and even charged for serious offenses.

“For example, the arrest and detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu generated a lot of problems for the Igbos.

“Many Igbos, including governors, members of the National Assembly, religious leaders, traditional rulers, and business leaders, pleaded with Mr. President for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, but without success.”

He added that Igbo monarchs are not being spared in the alleged injustice. “Also, there are many Igbo youths detained in various correctional centers for flimsy excuses. For example, there is the case of Eze Fredrick Nwajiagu, who has been in detention in Lagos without any justifiable reason.

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“Since the 2023 general election, Igbos have been victimized over the failure of the APC to win in Lagos and Abuja.

“It has been brought to my attention that there is a conspiracy to cripple Igbo business enterprises in Lagos, Abuja, and other parts of Nigeria. All these are aimed at incapacitating the Igbos from all future political activities.

“In some parts of Nigeria, Igbos who answer Igbo names and who are raised in Igbo culture and tradition continue to deny their Igbo heritage.

“This is because some people outside Eastern Nigeria who assume the monopoly of political power have continued to brainwash this set of people and turned their minds against their kit and kin, the Igbos.

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“For example, after the Civil War, which was fought by the entire Eastern Nigeria, this group of people profiled it as if it were a war by a few Igbos, and they influenced our kit and kin in Rivers State to seize our assets in the name of abandoned property.

“Remarkably, the end of the Civil War was based on the 3 Rs: reconciliation, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. Most unfortunately, the 3Rs were never implemented in the war-torn areas.

“History will always record the contributions of General Yakubu Gowon, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and General Obasanjo towards the peaceful conclusion of the Civil War based on no victor, no vanquished.

“It is regrettable that up until today, despite the efforts of Igbos to demonstrate their commitment to one united Nigeria, Igbos are victimized in many parts of the country, and people profile them wrongly at various times.

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“It is clear to me that Igbos must work hard to succeed in Nigeria. It is no secret that most contracts executed by Igbo businessmen in Nigeria are bought from their original awardees.

“In terms of political power, the Presidency of Nigeria was zoned to rotate between the North and the South. We accepted it.

“The last election was a defining moment in the country when, in fact, Igbos generally believed it was their turn to produce a president, but some groups in Nigeria ganged up against Igbos, and we failed in this quest.

“We once again thank all Nigerians who have shown their patriotism and love for one united Nigeria by supporting a very credible Igbo candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.

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“These Nigerian leaders are too numerous to mention, but we cannot fail to express our thanks to Chief Dr. Edwin Clark, the leader of the South-South region; Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the leader of Afenifere; and Dr. Bitrus Pogu, the leader of the Middle Belt Forum, for their courage in supporting an Igbo candidate.

“It is important to remind all Igbos that the 2023 presidential electoral matter has reached the Nigerian Supreme Court, where they declared President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR the winner.

“We don’t have any personal issues with him. As governor of Lagos State, he was good and charitable to Igbos.

“We have therefore decided to support him. We expect him to reciprocate this gesture by giving us what is due to the federation. We are not asking for another person’s position.

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“The economic crisis in Nigeria is very unfortunate. Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide intends to convene a meeting of Igbo top economists and experts in diverse fields to strategize on how to overcome the hardships.

“We will also offer advice to President Tinubu on the economy. It is important to note that the best thing for us as Igbos is to rally around President Tinubu and do what we can to enable him to complete his tenure. Igbos are opposed to military rule. We prefer a democratic government where we can express our views.”

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