By Sunday Ani
President General, apex Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, has declared that Igbo are not secessionists, stressing that people should make no mistake about that.
He made the clarification yesterday in Lagos at a civic reception organised for him by Ndigbo Lagos, saying Igbo have nothing pending before any institutional authority in the world that demands a separate existence from Nigeria.
He, therefore, cautioned against statements or utterances that have the tendency to put Ndigbo on harm’s way.
He said the issue of Biafra was beyond the capacity of the young men championing it.
“Biafra is our mutual and collective responsibility and a sacred issue that requires mature and experienced handling. I know and I believe that the Igbo case is very clear in Nigeria and history will vindicate us,” he said.
On the issue of restructuring, Obiozor charged Igbo to pursue it with pride and dignity, insisting that Nigeria must be restructured in order to reduce hostile tension among ethnic nationalities and move the country forward.
“Federations that survive are those that understand peaceful coexistence and what makes it possible. There is no need to remain in denial that there is no problem until the problem grows out of control. Politics of denial is the problem that Nigeria must stop in order for the country to grow,” he said.
He said insecurity was a subject of great concern in Igboland even as he described it as a national emergency.
He commended the South East governors for taking steps to tackle the menace in the region, particularly with the ban on open grazing of cattle.
He also said Igbo would continue to seek justice, peace and fairness in Nigeria.
President General of Ndigbo Lagos, Major-General Obi Umahi (Retd), urged the Ohaneze boss to pay particular attention to the issue of security in Igbo land, restructuring of the country and the issue of a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023 as he collaborates with the South East governors.
He said asking for president of Igbo extraction in 2023 was asking for justice, equity and fairness for Igbo, whom he described as catalysts for development anywhere they go.
Umahi reiterated the preparedness of Ndigbo Lagos to assist and support Obiozor in whatever way and manner he might require their assistance to move Ohaneze and Ndigbo to greater heights.