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Agitation: Change your strategy, Igbos told

By Ifeoma Okafor, Awka on 04/01/2018

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•Ohanaeze President, Chief Nnia Nwodo
•Ohanaeze President, Chief Nnia Nwodo

Stakeholders in Igboland on Wednesday called on Igbo people to embrace diplomacy as means to nipping the battles they face in Nigeria in the bud, and not through street protests.

The stakeholders, including the President General of the apex Igbo socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; former coordinator of Ohanaeze chairmen in the seven Igbo speaking states, Dr. Chris Eluemunoh; among others spoke at the 2018 Igbo International Leadership and Good Governance Retreat organised by the World Igbo Leadership Council and the World Igbo Information and Communication Network at Abagana in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State.

In his speech, the Ohanaeze President observed that although Igbo were facing large scale marginalisation in the country, that the option is not embarking on another war which would end up killing people in war fronts but adopting peaceful means and dialogue dialogue. 

While commending the organisers of the annual retreat, he cited the issue of states and local governments creation in Nigeria in which, he observed, Igbo were grossly shortchanged.

He noted that such anomalies could only be corrected through dialogue and making other Nigerians to see the need for equity and justice in the Nigeria project.

His words: “The military created states and local governments and gave the North the highest numbers, not because our population was smallest, but just part of the marginalisation.

“But we should be patient and continue to do what we have already started, knowing that the battle is no longer the type that will be fought with guns, but using intelligence.

“We have suffered so much and that is why we should apply diplomacy. One of such diplomatic moves is the planned handshake across the Niger in which Igbo leaders will be dialoging with Yoruba leaders in Enugu in the coming week.”

On his part, the former President of Ohanaeze in Anambra State, Chris Eluemuno said that as someone who fought in the Nigeria-Biafra war, he would not like another generation of Igbo to experience such war, saying that what the people should be fighting for is the restructuring of Nigeria in such a way that everybody would be happy.

He stressed that Ohanaeze had nothing against the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) but against their approach to the issue of Biafra.

Eluemuno recalled that the leadership of Ohanaeze invited IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu on several occasions for dialogue, but he failed to use his brain and rather resorted to insulting everybody.

“What the Igbo people want is restructuring because if you restructure properly, it is as good as being independent in your country. You cannot declare independent in an enemy territory and expect him to allow you to go just like that.

“What Ohanaeze is saying is that it is restructuring that will give us what we want. Our people are doing business in all parts of the country and in a restructured Nigeria, Igbo will have a good base. We learnt our lessons during and after the civil war and we would not like our people to make another mistake,” he stated.

On his part, Special Adviser to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State on Igbo Affairs, Professor J. I. Okonkwo said: “Igbo have so much to do to get to their desired destination.

“We embrace education, but we lack knowledge. We are not following the right steps that will help our cause and until we do that, we will continue to complain in Nigeria.”

The Abagana event, which was hosted by the President of World Igbo Assembly, Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze, the traditional prime minister of Abagana was the third in the series.

It was attended by renowned Igbo scholars from Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers states

The first retreat was hosted at Ibusa, Delta State by Professor Pat Utomi in 2016, while the second was hosted by Professor Ogbonnaya Onu last year at Uburu in Ebonyi State.

 

Source News Express

Posted 04/01/2018 01:26:01 AM

 

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