Prophet Josiah Chukwuma Onuoha, the General Overseer of Christ Foundation Miracle International Chapel, Lagos, is not happy with the content of the public statement recently released by the South East Governors Forum, through their Chairman and Ebonyi State governor, Chief David Umahi, over the quit notice northern youths issued the Igbo resident in their region. The cleric accused the governors of being deliberately lame in their reaction so as not to jeopardise their political career.
In this interview with TONY IWUOMA, Onuoha advises Ndigbo to start vacating the North at once, alleging that the grand plan of the purported coalition of the northern youths is to hit them unawares.
What is your view about the quit notice issued Ndigbo by a coalition of northern youths recently?
My view is that I am disappointed with the South East governors, who chose to play good boys by paying lip service to such unfortunate open threat to the lives and property of those they had sworn to protect. I condemn their position and I oppose their directive that Ndigbo should remain in the North. I bet you that if any of their parents or wards were involved, they would have sung a different song. Let us be sincere with ourselves. The governors played good boys by being cosmetic in their position to avoid drawing the ire of some powerful northern elements and ensure their political aspirations. That implies that they are more interested in protecting their political offices and ensuring their future political ambitions than carrying out their sworn obligations of protecting the lives and property of their endangered citizens. Our people should realise that before the so-called quit notice was issued, the sign had already been revealed when Zuma Rock recently went into mysterious flames. I was in Abuja that time and when I prayed about it, it was revealed that a deadly crisis was in the offing. We prayed about it and I directed my congregation to start prayer from this month of June to July 5. I also reminded them about the urgency and seriousness of the prayer request on June 4, shortly before the evil Kaduna Declaration.
You said that you were against South East governors’ directive that Ndigbo should stay back; why do you want them to return home when several northern leaders and the Federal Government have condemned the quit order and assured the Igbo of adequate security?
What assurances are you talking about? Did Ndigbo not get even more assurances in 1966 and yet they were later massacred? My advice to all Igbo in the North is that they should come back home immediately. The threat of the northerners was not a joke but a product of mutual clandestine consensus by strong forces in the North. They are targeting the resources and properties of Ndigbo, and some of their leaders were part of the grand plan. Looking at it spiritually, what they have planned is unspeakable, and they have gone far in terms of logistics build up. But God will surely take absolute control of everything. Any decision that emanates from any meeting that holds at the Arewa House is like a bond, an oath they usually keep sacrosanct. Let our people return home safely so we can all feel the heat and know who will first seek for co-operation. Let our people start by sending their wives and children home immediately, while being vigilant and prayerful. Anybody that fails to return home should not blame anybody if any ill befalls him later. They said they were infuriated by the successful conduct of a sit-at-home exercise in the South East and that that was what triggered the quit notice. But when did it become a crime for an individual or individuals to decide to sit back at home for a day or even whatever length of time? The truth is that if the Igbo had been treated fairly and allowed to enjoy their full rights as co-heirs of the nation’s resources, nobody would be talking about secession or self-determination. There is nothing like feeling of one Nigeria as far as Ndigbo are concerned and every Nigerian knows that. It is unfortunate that the same problem that compelled Ojukwu to declare Biafra is still here, staring at us and other parts of the country are indifferent. I urge our people to take urgent steps and come back home because the plan of those people is to commence surprise slaughtering of Ndigbo, even before the expiration of the so-called deadline.
Can’t the danger be curbed spiritually?
The present situation requires a healing process for sincere and adequate peace and trust to be re-established in this country. Prayer requires good and smart action to be effective. When there is a mutual gang up against a particular section of a family or country and they are subjected to long period of oppression, suppression and deprivation, a whole lot is really required to heal such wounds. That is the case of Ndigbo in Nigeria. And they try to organise themselves to seek ways to take care of themselves, you say they are notorious and hooligans? That is so appalling. No matter what you do to impress your hater, that hate feeling would still be there. But I can tell you that if not for the prayers of some committed men of God and some Christians, Nigeria would have collapsed irreparably about nine months ago. We thank God for those that are praying consistently for God to avert several dooms that have been threatening to befall this country. Everything would have long fallen apart if not for such spiritual commitments.
What happens to the huge investments Ndigbo scattered everywhere in the North when they all return home; are you saying that they should forfeit all that?
Did the North ask them to build those structures in the first place? How many Hausa have permanent structures or edifices in the South East or even South South? Even the Yoruba, how many mansions do they have in the South East and South South? But there is no state and major city in this country that you would visit and not find multi-million naira structures built by the Igbo. But to answer your question, nobody is forfeiting anything, even though that is what the northern youths are targeting. But it is said that he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day. A certain Igbo adage says that vigilance is not fright.