By Brown Chimezie
The traditional ruler of Igbo-Ukwu, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Martins Nwafor Ezeh has canvassed peace, love, tolerance and mutual coexistence among multi-ethnic groups in Nigeria.
Igwe Ezeh bemoaned the inflammatory statements by a group of youths in the northern part of the country, which asked people from the South East to vacate the zone before October 1.
“These people are being sectional and are belching toxic fumes that are cataclysmic and catastrophic to the unity of Nigeria and they must desist from fanning the embers of crisis and secession in Nigeria,” he said.
The royal father maintained that Nigeria is one strongly united and indivisible nation, blessed with bountiful natural endowments.
‘‘All we need is to perfect our imperfections, strike an equilibrium in the modalities of sharing our economic and political gains and not disintegration.’ He said with love, fairness and equity, Nigeria will attain lofty height.
While admonishing those calling for disunity and war to desist from such repulsive acts, as war is no longer an option for modern states, the monarch maintained that Nigerians must embrace love.
even as God supports showing love to all and sundry.
“Centripetal forces of cohesion must replace these centrifugal forces of secession in Nigeria as a macabre dance of death is playing out in the Northern Nigeria.”
The septuagenarian recounted his sufferings during the civil war, where he served in the frontline, adding that the war led to massive human carnage and destruction of property that lasted for three years (1967-1970) and he does not wish for another war in the country.
Igwe Ezeh called on Arewa youths to have a rethink and sheath their swords, as Nigeria is too vast to contain her multi-ethnic groups.
“As citizens of Nigeria, we reserve the rights to reside in any part of the country as long as we continue being lawful and conduct lawful businesses. There are northerners residing and doing business in the East and vice versa, all we need is love, peaceful coexistence and tolerance as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Section 43. All these proponents of disintegration must be prevailed upon as nobody that has witnessed war before will ever call for secession.”
While calling on Nigerians to seek the face of God as solutions to myriads of problems facing them, the royal father, quoting from the scriptures said: “If my people whom I have called by My name will humble themselves and seek My face, I will hear their cries and heal their lands,” he said.
…War, not an option –Ukwa
From Petrus Obi, Enugu
Igbo elder statesman and founding member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Onwuka Ukwa, has warned that Igbo should not thinker with the idea of war or taking up arms in the face of the current provocation by Arewa youths through the quit notice order.
In an exclusive chat, Chief Ukwa, suggested a meeting of leaders and major stakeholders of Igbo extraction to deliberate on the matter at hand and agree on the best way to proceed.
“Are we well positioned to carry arms; what will be the implications? We must be able to answer that question. It’s a very dicey issue, there are so many things that will go with it. Have all those elements been considered? How are you going to fight, who is going to carry it?
While describing the quit notice as totally irresponsible, reckless and unpatriotic, the Igbo leader said: “It’s going to be exceptionally difficult for anyone to willingly support any kind of war that is not clearly defined to everyone. Nobody wants to enter a war that he will lose and expose people to all sorts of vulnerable situations. It’s something we just all sit together and decide.
“It’s very easy to start a fight but difficult to stop. And what are we going to gain? We must also consider our brothers and sisters who are vulnerable outside the five Igbo states; what will be their fate and that of their families? ?, he asked rhetorically.
We are talking about life; I am not even concerned about property because that is entirely a different issue.
“What is the strategy; what is the essence of the war; what are the possibilities of success; what are the possibilities of achieving whatever aim is behind it? These are very crucial questions we must answer because no one can just carry people and plunge them into a war.
“We are all concerned about the marginalisation and denial of ones human rights, everyone is concerned about it, but it is something we must sit down and discuss on how to proceed in rectifying those things. No one can just sit somewhere and talk of war without clear explanations of how we are going to achieve whatever.
“No one has the right to claim that he is more Igbo, or that he is more exposed to the injustice meted out to us. I have been in this battle for years, therefore, I have the right to make my own individual decisions based on what I know and based on what is on ground; based on my thinking on how it is going to affect my brothers and sisters. Not just within our own political space, but outside.
“If we fail to consider those critical elements in our decision making process, then it’s very faulty. I can also say no one can claim the right of being more militant or being more just in terms of fighting for Igbo’s right, than the other. It’s something that all of us must sit down, plan, before we plunge ourselves into crisis.”