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The Apex Igbo Socio-Cultural Organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has condemned the leader of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi, over allegations that Igbos attack northerners outside the North.
Professor Ango Abdullahi made the allegation on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, when the NEF leaders paid an assessment visit to northern communities living in the South-South to assess affairs of the northern communities after the #EndSARS protests.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Chief Emeka Attamah, frowned ‘at the incendiary, unsubstantiated and provocative statement credited to Prof. Ango Abdullahi, alleging that most violent acts against the northerners are perpetrated by the Igbo.’
Speaking further, Chief Nwodo described the allegation that Northerners are attacked by Igbos outside of the North as a ‘dangerous gaffe by a man who by learning, experience and exposure should know better.’
According to the Ohanaeze leader, the unprovoked outburst by Prof Abdullahi was capable of setting the country ablaze. He further wondered where and when the Igbo could have killed their northern brothers when there has never been any case of mayhem and killings against the North in any Igbo-speaking state to warrant the allegation that Northerners are attacked by Igbos.
He also called Prof Abdullahi ‘to substantiate his wild and malicious claim unless it was intended to set up the Igbo for another round of killings in the North,’ insisting that with the statement, the Igbo in the North are not safe. Chief Nwodo reminded Prof Abdullahi that on the contrary, the Igbo have borne the brunt and have been victims of age-long and misguided attacks and bloody orgies by their northern ‘brothers’ at the slightest upheavals in the country, sometimes even as a result of an event outside the country, and no restitution has ever been made for such losses.
He also expressed regrets that the Igbo, apart from innumerable dead ones, have lost property valued at trillions of naira during such senseless attacks in the North, yet they are the catalysts of development and the unifying cord that holds Nigeria together.
Continuing, Nwodo called on the Northern Elders Forum to exhibit greater caution and wisdom in addressing sensitive national issues like this, rather than ‘stoke further the fire of ethnic violence by making such unguarded, unsubstantiated, garrulous and vitriolic claims capable of igniting fire and breakdown of law and order that could consume the country.’
Chief Nwodo reminded them that knowing that Nigeria is now a tinderbox, especially with the heightened frayed nerves arising from the unfortunate mismanagement of the fabric of the nation, caution should be the watchword. He also reminded Prof Abdullahi that at the twilight of his life, he should espouse salutary views that should bind and heal the wounds of the country so that he will leave behind a better and united Nigeria.
Nwodo however called on the Federal Government to call NEF to order and make them rescind their inflammatory statement to avoid the possible mayhem and confusion it could cause in the country.
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