From Magnus Eze, Enugu
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has told President Muhammadu Buhari that the United States, United Kingdom and other western nations would not heed his call for Nigeria’s international partners to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation.
The president was quoted in a recent interview with Bloomberg to have pleaded with Nigeria’s international partners, especially the United States and the United Kingdom to block the group from the international financial network.
Ohanaeze, in a statement, yesterday, said IPOB was fighting for justice, noting that Ffrst republic minister and elder statesman, Maitama Sule, had predicted that the orchestrated alienation of the South East from the centres of power was the basic cause of the agitation in the region.
According to the group, IPOB was merely asking for justice just as Sule admonished Buhari shortly after his electoral victory in 2015, that “justice is key to good governance,”adding that he “extends justice to all and sundry, irrespective of religion or tribe.”
The position of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation which was made known by its National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, stated that the leadership of Professor George Obiozor has repeatedly stated that a people denied justice may not have interest in peace.
Ohanaeze, however, contended that Nigeria would be a better place if President Buhari confronted the menace of the Fulani herdsmen who had been terrorizing several states, communities and individuals for over seven years now with similar obsession and commitment deployed to IPOB.
The group said: “Mr President knows he ignored the eternal advice from the Nigerian foremost patriot, democrat and diplomat, Alhaji Maitama Sule.
What, I think, the IPOB is asking for is very clear: Treat us as partners in the Nigerian project or allow us to go. On the other hand, how can one explain the obvious lopsidedness in the appointment of military and paramilitary personnel to head the followings organizations with little or no South East considerations; Nigerian Army, Nigerian Airforce, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security (DSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, and Nigeria Customs Service; and several others.
“The request by Mr. President to the West is most unachievable because the West watch with keen interest and utter resignation the pathetic governance paradigm in the country. For the avoidance of doubt, democracy all over the world requires justice, equity, mutual toleration and institutional forbearance all of which are in short supply in today Nigeria. Mr. President is reminded that the British profound sense of justice, fortitude, restraint, civic virtues and forbearance are the hallmarks that sustain their enviable government with an unwritten constitution. In a similar vein, what sustains the US democracy is not just the constitution but democratic norms and values anchored on justice and patriotism.”