Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Igbo for a Progressive Nigeria (IPAN) has told those fabricating and promoting falsehood in order to cause disaffection between the Igbo and Yoruba to have a rethink as their evil plots cannot come to fruition.
It said that the recent falsehoods flying in the social media during the #EndSARS protests were the handiwork of those who were jittery about the renewed unity and flourishing relationship between the two ethnic nationalities.
In a statement signed by the leader of IPAN in the South-West zone, Emeka Nwachukwu, and secretary, Arinze Odiari, the group condemned some spurious allegations peddled against the peace-loving Igbo and warned such people to desist.
“For emphasis, Ndigbo are not and will never be at war with the Yoruba people or any other tribe for that matter. We have learned from experience that any issue approached with war ends up like a tattered basket of a market woman.
“So, we will always be at peace with our host communities, states and tribes. And we will always use peaceful dialogue to approach any issue that may come up as we relate with them.
“Igbo for a Progressive Nigeria (IPAN) South West Zone want to use this opportunity to commend the efforts of Joe Igbokwe, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Otunba Gani Adams; and all other South-West leaders, who in their wisdom, were able to douse the tension, dispel the rumours and restore peace and unity in the state.
“We noticed how these unprincipled elements were pushing hard to brand the recent sad occurrences, especially in Lagos, as a war between the Igbo and the Yoruba.
“Although, we are not surprised at their actions considering their past antecedents, it still baffles us greatly that normal people, without mental problems, would be rejoicing over the loss of lives and property of fellow citizens.
“We use this medium to commiserate with the families that lost their loved ones during the protests. We also commiserate with the government of Lagos state and all those who were affected in one way or the other.
“As an organisation tasked with the promotion of peace and unity in Nigeria, we will not watch as some people with destructive agenda turn this into combat between the people of the South East and their friendly South West hosts.
“IPAN also encourages all Igbo in Lagos State and other Southwest states of the country to compliment and appreciate the efforts of the leaders of the region, so that an enabling environment will be created for the betterment of Igbo and others living in the region.
“We, therefore, call on all Nigerians, especially the Igbo youths, never to be enticed by the overtures of those who are calling for war. At this time of our national life and in keeping with global standards, a roundtable discussion of issues affecting us remains a preferred alternative. Those who think otherwise should first start the war in their respective families.”