Magnus Eze, Enugu
A face-off is brewing between the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, as the former has issued a seven-day ultimatum to Kanu to withdraw his alleged death threat on President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo.
They said Kanu should be ready to face dire consequences if he failed to apologise to Nwodo, Ohanaeze youths and the entire Igbo nation for his unguarded utterances.
The IPOB leader had a fortnight ago, in one of his outings on social media, directed Igbo youths to stone the Ohanaeze leader to death anywhere they saw him.
The report, which went viral has dominated public discourse across towns and communities in Igbo land and beyond.
Irked by the development, Ohanaeze youths staged a solidarity march for Nwodo on some streets of Enugu metropolis Tuesday evening.
The march terminated at the Ohanaeze national secretariat, where they were received by the President of Ohanaeze, Enugu state chapter, Chief Alex Ogbonnia.
Leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu State, Wenceslaus Ogbonnia, who spoke on behalf of others said they embarked on the march to demonstrate that the IPOB leader was on his own and to tell the world that Igbo youths were firmly in support of the various steps their parent body of all Igbo socio-cultural associations globally, had taken so far in ensuring unity of Igbo people world over.
Such steps they said, had help in cementing peaceful relationship between the Igbo and their neighbours, host communities and other ethnic groups, most especially in Nigeria.
They described the utterances of Kanu against Nwodo as very unbecoming and his recent outburst urging Igbo youths to stone him [Nwodo] to death, as the highest point of insult on the Igbo leader, the youths and the entire Igbo race.
“We read Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s death threat in which he urged Igbo youths to stone Chief Nnia Nwodo, the Ohanaeze President General, wherever they see him on the social media. We followed it up and found out that it has been an issue of public discussion across Igbo land. Here today, the Igbo youths are saying no to Nnamdi Kanu’s proclamation. We have respect for our elders. We have respect for Chief Nnia Nwodo. He has achieved much for the Igbo nation, in his capacity as the current President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide,’’ they stated.
They also applauded the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo for adopting and canvassing for ‘restructuring’ as a panacea to the nation’s socio-political and economic problems.
According to them, restructuring was similar to the ‘self-determination’ pursuit of an independent state of Biafra.
The youths commended Nwodo’s approach in tackling the various socio-political challenges confronting the Igbo, stating that they cannot no longer be at ease Kanu’s style of intimidating and threatening Igbo leaders, to gain cheap popularity.
Addressing the crowd when he eventually drove into the Ohanaeze secretariat, Nwodo disclosed that there were other threats and propaganda aimed at maligning him but that as a father of the Igbo Nation, he simply has refused to join issues with his sons.
He said he still sticks to his inaugural statement to defend the cause of all Igbo pressure groups with genuine cause, when it matters and thanked Ohanaeze youths for their peaceful solidarity march.