From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha and Okwe Obi, Abuja
Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly has called for restoration of calm and normalcy in Orlu, Imo State, even as it appealed that soldiers vacate the community without further delay.
President General of the group, Basil Onuorah, in a statement, yesterday, after the Executive Council meeting in Abuja, expressed dismay over the continued presence of soldiers in Orlu and some other communities within Orlu Local Government Area.
The organisation said the relocation of soldiers from the area was long overdue since no part of Igboland was at war.
Ohanaeze also took a swipe at Governor Hope Uzodimma and governors of the other South East states for their actions and inactions on the Orlu saga noting that they may be forced to call for their resignation if they failed to act fast.
The group also cautioned pro-Biafra organisations like IPOB and MASSOB on the need to refrain from making inflammatory statements that may worsen an already tensed situation.
“It is condemnable for Governor Hope Uzodinma to lock up people in their houses for weeks without making provisions that will cushion the effects of hunger, health challenges and other untold hardship the imposed curfew has caused in the affected communities.
“We hereby also caution IPOB and MASSOB to stop making unguarded statements that end up endangering the lives of Ndigbo. We are not at war with the Nigerian government and those instigating actions capable of degenerating the already tensed situations in the country to civil war should desist from such with immediate effect.
“Why are the South East Governors dying in silence? The silence of our South East governors is no longer golden. You cannot provide your people with security; you cannot take a decision and stand by it. Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly Worldwide will soon demand for the resignation of all the South East governors since they have all resolved to die in silence. Some are even abroad and imposing curfew from there, this madness must stop,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, following the exclusion of the South-East in the recent appointment of service chiefs, a socio-political organisation, Conference of Nigeria Civil Rights Defenders (CNCRD), has petitioned the National Assembly, urging it to mount pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to review the appointment to reflect federal character principles.
In the letter entitled: ‘Open letter to the National Assembly on the screening of new service chiefs’ CNCRD National Coordinator, Dr. Hassan Muhammad, and National Secretary, Ibinabo Jaja said the exclusion of Igbo, which it noted was the third largest ethnic group in the country, from the security management team for the second time during the President Buhari-led administration leaves much to be desired, hence the need to correct the injustice, before the screening of the service chiefs by the lawmakers.
“We call on the National Assembly as the representative of the people to prevail on Mr President to correct this gross injustice by reviewing the appointments in the interest of justice and national unity. While it is true that competency should be the criteria for appointment of this nature and not ethnic considerations, we must say that only when there is justice and equity that genuine peace and reconciliation can be achieved….
“The National Assembly must prevail on the President Muhammadu Buhari, to review the appointments of the new service chiefs to reflect national unity by including an officer from the South East in the composition. Appointing an Igbo person as one of the service chiefs will naturally give a large section of this country not just Igbo alone a complete sense of justice and a hope of a better Nigeria.”