From Geoffrey Anyanwu and Jude Chinedu, Enugu
President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, yesterday, said Igbo nation was not at war with Nigeria and had nothing pending before any institutional authority that necessitated a break away from Nigeria.
Obiozor who made the declaration during his maiden press conference at the Ohanaeze Ndigbo National Secretariat, GRA Enugu, advised the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to listen to Igbo leaders.
“Igbo nation is not at war with Nigeria and has nothing pending before any institutional authority that demands a separate existence from Nigeria. Nnamdi Kanu is one of us and he must listen to some of us for several reasons. The fact and reality are that the issues of Biafra are beyond his capacity to decide. He must listen because he is one of us and we are all in this dilemma together. And our mutual and collective responsibilities are sacred and must be respected. Consequently, all actions or utterances that put Ndigbo in present and imminent danger or harm’s way must be avoided.”
The new Ohanaeze boss who was surrounded at the conference by members of his executive, noted that when late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu said “The bones shall rise,” he didn’t mean conflict, violence and war, but that the mission was creative and constructive.
Insisting that Ndigbo were builders and not nation wreckers or destroyers Obizor said: “Ojukwu meant the return of the ‘can do’ spirit of Ndigbo that turns ‘difficulties into dividends’ and obstacles into opportunities. Therefore, in this context and in the spirit of the times and collective interest of Ndigbo, I appeal to our son Nnamdi Kanu, “act well your part for there your honour lies.”
He disclosed that one of the objectives of his team, which he believed could be achieved with diplomatic dexterity, decency, candour and decorum was “to effectively reintegrate Ndigbo into Nigerian political process effectively, significantly and relevantly.”
Speaking on why Igbo nation needed the present Ohanaeze leadership, Obiozor said: “It is obvious that at this critical time in our history, leadership of Ndigbo ought to transcend partisan politics, make-believe, rhetorics, propaganda and shadowboxing. In other words, it is imperative that the primacy of Igbo interest as opposed to self-seeking agenda and mere political ambition should be the bedrock on which Igbo desirable and ideal leadership today must be anchored.”
He assured that security and safety of Ndigbo would be the priority of his administration.