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Apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze-Ndigbo has debunked the story making the rounds that the Chairman of its Elders Council, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, referred to Yoruba in Lagos State as political rascals.
The apex Igbo social cultural organisation described the news as a lie from the pit of hell.
In a statement, on Sunday in Enugu by its National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, the group denied that Iwuanyanwu made such a comment while speaking in Awka, Anambra State, on Saturday during an event to mark the one year in the office of Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo.
‘The report is a typical falsehood, fabricated by social media entrepreneurs, decorated with wings, expanded with venom, injected with ethnic nuances to create inter-ethnic mistrust between the age-long partners in social, cultural, religious and economic development of Nigeria.’
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Ogbonnia clarified that what Iwuanyanwu said was, ‘I want to tell those in Lagos to realise that there is no war between us and the Yorubas…those who attacked Ndigbo in Lagos recently are rascals who should be arrested.’
He lamented how the Ohanaeze chieftain’s words were mischievously twisted to imply ‘Yoruba people are political rascals and that we will fight them.’
He said platforms that carried the twisted statement were bent on creating a rift between Igbo and Yoruba.
“As much as some mischief makers will twist the speech by Iwuanyanwu, the truth remains that he holds the Yoruba in a very high esteem and he used the Awka event to express it.”
Ogbonnia said what Iwuanyanwu emphasised in his Awka speech was that no one “must attribute the ugly event in Lagos to the good people of Yoruba, rather, it was the handiwork of rascals, hooligans, charlatans, miscreants and dregs of Lagos society.
‘It is important to highlight that Chief Iwuanyanwu is a renowned patriotic detribalized Nigerian who has enjoyed the fidelity, confidence, solidarity, support of the Yoruba when he was in active business and politics. Iwuanyanwu in all his private and public discussions has often commended the profound Yoruba cultural values, intellect and hospitality. He applauds the cordial relationship between the Igbo and the Yoruba, citing that several Igbo are integral parts of various Yoruba communities.’
Meanwhile, Iwuanyanwu has charged Igbo to continue to live in peace and harmony with the Yoruba, irrespective of ongoing incitements.