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The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide expressed displeasure over the continued detention of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu by the Department of State Services, DSS, in the country.
The Igbo organization raised concern over the Federal Government’s alleged disobedience of court orders, bordering on the release and freedom of the IPOB leader from detention.
It further called on the Federal Government to address the health challenge facing Nnamdi Kanu, even as it appealed to it to allow the IPOB leader to go for medical treatment urgently.
The statement read in part: ‘Rising from a National Executive Council, NEC,meeting held at the National Secretariat of Ohanaeze, 7 Park Avenue Enugu, the Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Youth Wing Worldwide led by Mazi Livinus Obasi Onu made the following observations:
“In strong terms, we frown at the level of injustices meted out on our brother, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, especially as it borders on his health and the Federal Government’s continuous refusal to obey court orders.
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‘Security of lives and property are the fundamental responsibilities of every government and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s life is now at stake, if not given urgent access to effective medical attention, even as the Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Soludo has accepted to stand surety for him.
‘His health is paramount to the unity and stability of our dear country Nigeria, and to the millions of Igbo youths within and outside Nigeria.
‘In patriotism, enhancing to rule of law, and for peace and stability to be sustained in Nigeria, we admonish the appropriate quarters of the Federal Government, to responsibly grant Mazi Nnamdi Kanu access to necessary medical attention, to ascertain his health status and subsequently release him unconditionally.’
The statement added: ‘Our attention was also drawn to the viral publication, concerning our Leader, Mazi Livinus Obasi Onu ; Mazi Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, Secretary General; and Arthur Chinedu Ugwa- financial Secretary, over the support of the Igbo youths for Governor Okowa as Vice Presidential Candidate in the recent 2023 general elections and Governor Sanwo-Olu for second term in office as Governor of Lagos State.
“On this note, we hereby state emphatically that Mazi Livinus Obasi Onu has the mandate of the Igbo youths as the National Leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Youth Wing. Again, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is an Igbo man, and thus, deserves the support of his people, Ndigbo and we have no regret whatsoever for our unreserved support to our brother and worthy Igbo son.
‘Sequel to the above, we hereby pass a vote of confidence on the NEC delegation to Lagos State led by our Leader, Mazi Livinus Obasi Onu for the bold step taken on behalf of NEC and in favour of the Igbo communities resident in Lagos.
‘The 2023 general elections have come and gone, even as it was allegedly marred by malpractices and irregularities. In a democratic setting like Nigeria, it is obvious that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is not the final determinant of the election’s outcome as the process can be challenged in court.
‘We largely commend all the candidates and other stakeholders, especially the electorate and security agencies, for the spirit of sportsmanship that contributed immensely to the physical success of the elections, particularly as it borders on voter apathy and election violence. We are motivated and encouraged by the social and judicial countenances of the opposition parties and their followers, which is responsible for the stability and relative peace we enjoy since post-elections.
‘We, therefore, admonish the Judiciary and other concerned stakeholders to take responsibility to promote and protect democracy, uphold her mandate as the hope of common Nigerians, and restore the confidence of the people.
‘On the other hand, we have also noted the unpreparedness of the National Population Commission (NPC) towards the scheduled 2023 National Census; and we hereby add our voice to the widely recommended postponement of the National Census that is meant to commence in May 2023. This is to ensure that all necessary factors that shall determine the success and uphold the purpose of the exercise are put in place.
‘These factors involved are not limited to the status of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), insecurity, and other technical matters bedeviling the Commission. This call for postponement shall also ensure judicious use of the N88b budgeted for the nationwide exercise to maximize impact and serve the purpose.
‘We call on all Nigerians, irrespective of the ethnic divide, religion, and party affiliations, to join hands in building lasting peace, unity, and stability in our dear country. To achieve this, we all must collectively eschew and condemn injustice, ethnic profiling, and religious preferences. In the interest of peace and progress as a nation, we must promote and protect equity and fairness.
‘On this note, we call on all well-meaning Nigerians to stand up against various acts of injustice and neglect, especially those citizens in various IDP camps and those unduly kept in detention as prisoners of conscience in correctional facilities across Nigeria. This shall cover unprecedented miles in our journey for national cohesion and healing.
‘In conclusion, we commend the acting leadership of the National Executive Committee of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide ably led by the Secretary-General, Amb. Okay Emuchay; Elders Council led by Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, and the Women Wing ably led by Mrs. Rita Daniels for squaring the onerous task of leadership.
‘We frown at the continuous impersonation of the Leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide by some unrepentant mischievous individuals like Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Okwu Nnabike, Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, and Arthur Obiora; irrespective of a Court Order, stopping them from illegally parading themselves as officials of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. We, therefore, admonish them to desist from illegality as we shall not fold our hands and watch them cause unnecessary confusion in the affairs of the Igbo Nation.’
‘Finally, we reaffirm our unreserved solidarity and support to all our friends and allies alike, as we look forward to a better working relationship that shall entrench and instill national unity, peace, stability, and progress for all Nigerians both at home and in diaspora. Together, Nigeria shall prevail.