Magnus Eze, Enugu
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has assured Igbo people caught up in the fracas in Oyigbo, Rivers State that efforts were on to intervene on their behalf.
Its President General, Nnia Nwodo, yesterday, reiterated that Igbo leaders would soon meet with Governor Nyesom Wike to iron out issues.
“Innocent Igbo in Rivers State, who are caught in between this sad development and whose lives and livelihood are threatened by it are assured that help is on the way and that Igbo leaders will never abandon them,” he said.
The development followed attacks on security operatives during the EndSARS protest, which Rivers State Governor blamed on members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
Recently, there have been serious security concerns in Oyigbo where it was reported that some unarmed youths of the area after the #EndSARS protest were massacred by soldiers in the pretext of trying to check activities of the IPOB. The military operation, which was aimed at recovering arms said to be carted away by the secessionist or other elements, resulted in loss of lives of innocent youths, men, women and children who were not even part of the protest.
Wike has since distanced himself from complicity in the military operation in Oyigbo, insisting that he did not invite them.
But Nwodo, last Tuesday, hinted that the happenings had ruptured the cordial relationship that existed between peoples of the South East and South South regions.
“The misdemeanour of some rampaging youths of both South South and South East origin and the inciting mindless and provocative statements that were made from abroad by the leader of IPOB which inflamed passions on all sides have landed us in a regrettable situation.
“Pictures on the social media portray very inhuman and degrading treatment meted to innocent Igbo in Oyigbo.
“Ohanaeze regrets that the friendly and cordial relationship which existed between Igbo and our kit and kin in Rivers State is threatened by this development. So, also is the threat to our solidarity with PANDEF and the entire people of the South South region of Nigeria,” the apex Igbo body stated.
Meanwhile, the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has called for the prosecution of any persons found culpable in the Oyigbo tragedy.