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Apex Igbo Socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has condemned the gale of tension that has pervaded the South East region in recent times and appealed to the governors of the zone to immediately inaugurate the regional security outfit codenamed Ebubeagu.
Ahead of the September 29 Igbo Day celebrations, the President General of Ohanaeze, Prof. George Obiozor, in a statement called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly initiate the process of national dialogue.
According to Obiozor, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, traditional rulers and stakeholders called for an end to anarchy in Igboland, noting that the original objectives of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were taking dangerous dimensions.
He counselled IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, that it would be shameful to descend from being a hero to a villain.
Ndigbo, he said, must avoid being a race that has voluntarily chosen to perish in violence and insecurity, so, they must stop threatening themselves and there must be a stop to violence and violent rhetoric.
Obiozor said: ‘Today, what we are seeing in Igbo land is not liberation but Ala-Igbo destruction and devastation. It is a national tragedy for Igbo. The liberty and freedom of Ndigbo are threatened internally and externally. I call on IPOB leaders to reassert the authority and control of the organization.
‘To our son Nnamdi Kanu himself, what good is it to have the greatest dream in the world, if others reap the benefit and glory. In history, there is only a thin line between a hero and a villain. The greatest tragedy for any leader in history is to end up from a hero to a villain. Ndigbo must think again which way forward. Our anger and disgust must be directed at leaders and fellow citizens, who do not want Ndigbo to become emancipated like themselves as Nigerian citizens.
‘What Ndigbo want is that we should become a light unto the world, like all good people in the world ought to be. That was precisely part of my critical message to His Excellency President Muhammed Buhari during his official visit to Imo State. For Ndigbo, the President and Federal Government, there must be evidence of increasing sense of belonging, equity, and justice for Ndigbo.
‘We repeat our preference for dialogue instead of violence or military solutions to national problems. The dialogue should not be delayed further. For Ndigbo, the demand is simple, that the Nigerian Federation should be sustained and have a sense of stability; it must be a union of equals and the composite units must have the ability to survive without begging the centre.
‘We must tell ourselves the truth or keep deceiving ourselves by ignoring the calls for decentralization and devolution of power in Nigeria. Ironically, in history, societies where truth comes last, tragedy comes first. We must learn the lessons of history, particularly our own Nigerian history on how the story began. Nigeria must avoid being a failed state.
‘To the South-East Governors, the delay in launching Ebubeagu security outfit is an embarrassment. I strongly appeal to the Governors without further hesitation to consolidate and launch Ebubeagu security architecture, in the South-East. The security situation in the South-East makes this call urgent and imperative. Our people must have a security networking agency that is under their control and capable of identifying both internal and external security threats in Igbo land.’