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The Methodist Archbishop of Okigwe Archdiocese, Most Rev. Biereonwu Livinus Onuagha, cautioned yesterday that any Nigerian government neglecting the interests of Ndigbo would ultimately achieve subpar results.
In addition, he highlighted that any government that chooses to target the Ndigbo unfairly is virtually sabotaging its own interests.
This is because the intensified persecution of Igbo community members will inadvertently lead to their advancement and prompt them to unlock the true potential that ‘God’ has bestowed upon them as both a collective and as unique individuals.
In his dialogue with reporters, Bishop Onuagha expressed that the most effective approach towards the Ndigbo and Igbo community is to grant them the space to progress naturally.
This can be achieved by ensuring the provision of essential amenities such as electricity, infrastructure, and water, while also collecting taxes accordingly.
Alternatively, there exists the option of allowing them the opportunity to cultivate their own region and realize their aspirations for their homeland and nation.
Archbishop Onuagha voiced his dissatisfaction regarding the recurring trend noticeable among successive governments in the country, save for the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He bemoaned the continual exclusion of the Ndigbo from the realm of governmental proceedings in these administrations. He emphasised that the current administration is mirroring the path that had previously resulted in the inefficiencies of past leaderships.
Archbishop Onuagha’s warning to the Nigerian government, concerning the proper treatment of the Ndigbo, is accentuated by his particular focus on the Lagos state government.
He advocates for a cautious and thoughtful approach to their policies regarding the Ndigbo community. He restates his earlier caution against any further acts of aggression targeting the Ndigbo within the state.
According to Archbishop Onuagha, ‘You are singling out Igbo man for a witch hunt, but areas you want to go and develop and live in, you tell the Igbo men to go there, and they will go like they have gone to canals and closed them and built shops that are giving you revenues in billions, yet you will come out to claim they are not parts and parcel of your state. Anybody doing or saying that Igbos will run out of this country or any state is daydreaming.’
‘I want to let you know that the more you persecute Igbo man the more you make him prosper and the more he thinks out genuinely what God has deposited in him, so the best way to treat the Igbo man is not to sideline him or persecute him in your government, but include him or you leave him to develop at his own pace, he will provide everything for himself, including light, road and water and other things he needs and still pay you your tax.’