By GILBERT EKEZIE
The Chief Executive Officer of Orient Group and Co-Founder of Ebele & Anyi Chuks Foundation, Dr Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii has advised Biafran agitators to thread with caution, in order not to destroy the people and economy of Igbo land .
He gave the advice at a dinner party organised by the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) at the Lily Gate Hotel, Lekki Lagos.
Odii who is also the President, Ultimus Holdings called on Igbo youths not to create the opportunity for people to hide the agitation to achieve their selfish interests.
The Ebonyi State born philanthropist whose NGO, Ebere -& Anyichuks Foundation, has built over 120 houses for people free of charge, constructed a 2-storey school building in Achara Community and empowered many less privileged people in Ebonyi State, condemned the restiveness by Igbo youths, pointing out that there has never been any conflict that was resolved by the hand of gun. “It is never done that conflict should be used to resolve conflict. Our fathers fought Biafra War and we lost over three million people, young children, young women, older women and men . Now that we are trying to recover again, we began to drift into the same methodology we used to embark on the same war we fought before. In as much as they are agitating, it is good to agitate, but then, you should know that when you agitate, you draw a strategy that will make you not to be so violent. But what we are witnessing today in the southeast is not encouraging and I am not pleased about that.”
He said it is unusual for an Igbo man to take up arms against his own brother, and called on those who engage or try to engage on such act to retrace their steps. “It is not known for an Igbo man to take up arms against his brother.Even if we are fighting an enemy, why must we be enemy within? We should not allow that because it is like trying to destroy our own plans by ourselves and that will make us become a laughing stock to others.”
Odii described the sit-at-home order by the indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as an invitation to economic war that would not do Ndigbo any good. “I think that what is happening is that many of us are not well informed. We should know that there are two types of war, one is the war you fight with bullets, which is the conventional war. But the worst war now is the one called the economic war. It is the same kind of war that was practised during the Biafra war, whereby kwashiorkor killed over 1.2 million children. So if you say that you don’t want your economy to grow, that means you want to go hungry, and hunger will come and attack you. In fact, hunger is the worst war and that is where we are going now, no one is fighting us, rather, we are creating hunger war against our people through the sit-at-home order, which is not good for us.”
He promised to do his best to ensure that youths and other less privileged people are empowered to jettison acts capable of bringing Igbo land to disrepute. “Ebele & Anyichuks Foundation was formed by me and my wife sixteen years ago to touch lives of the less privileged in the society . Since then, we have been doing our best. We have done a lot to engage the youths in meaning activities that would discouraged them from committing crime. We are humanitarians, we did not try to open a church to start asking for tithe, rather we used what God has given to us to touch lives in the areas of provision of shelter, skills, education empowerment, job creation etc. In fact, welfare of the less privileged is the priority of Ebele & Anyichuks Foundation and we will not relent.”