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Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, has fervently appealed for peace, describing the alarming insecurity and appalling extra-judicial killings in Igbo land as deeply troubling.
Iwuanyanwu declared firmly that the situation must end, and he’s prepared to lay down his life if necessary to bring peace back to the southeast.
On Saturday evening, the Ohanaeze president-general spoke to the press about the upcoming 2023 Igbo Day celebration, slated for September 28 and 29, with a Sunday church service set to be held at the Cathedral Church of Good Shepherd.
As he elaborated on the diverse initiatives and plans his leadership aims to execute for peace restoration, the octogenarian shared that each news of a life lost in Igboland deeply troubles him.
As the acknowledged fatherly figure of all Igbos, he pledged to employ his esteemed role as the President General to actively seek peace, and he expressed a readiness to engage with Biafran agitators, even if it required traveling to places as distant as Finland and various global regions.
‘I’ll take a kinetic approach that will require the cooperation of everybody. I’ll talk peace. I am ready to lay down my life to see that there is peace in Igboland.’
‘I’ll go to Finland and everywhere to see that there is peace in Igboland. I’ll go and cry to them. I pray to God that I achieve success.’
He said: ‘I have decided that as a father, I am tired of the death of my children. Ndigbo have given me the responsibility of leading them at this time. Each time I hear anybody killed I feel very sad.’
‘I feel very sad too because those of them who are joining whatever it is are doing it because some of them are hungry. Some of them are unemployed. I am not saying that hunger and unemployment should make somebody become a criminal but not everyone has the capacity to endure hardship or hunger.’
‘We have been using a kinetic approach, I think I’m going to advise, I am going to discuss as part of the Igbo day celebration, I’m likely to announce a non-kinetic approach. I will as a father now call everybody. It is my duty to call everybody for peace. On the 29th of this month during my address, I will initiate a non-kinetic approach.’
‘I will appeal to our people because we have these programmes we have started so that when people leave school here they will have opportunities. So this non-kinetic approach will require everybody’s support. It will require the support of the state governors and the federal government.’
‘It is good for the federal government to have peace in the South East. It won’t pay them to have bloodshed. Because you see, bloodshed doesn’t pay anybody. So whatever sacrifices they make to bring the non-kinetic approach which saves killings and bloodshed will be useful and that is what I want to do.’
‘I am going to reach all these people by any means and I will talk for peace. I will beg them. I will even give them my life. If they want to take my life I am ready to surrender. I will set up a committee. I will send people abroad. They have mentioned some names of people abroad who feel are doing this. I am going to set up a committee.’
‘I don’t want to kill any of my children. All these people, the gunmen are my children. We are going there to beg them and to appeal to them. Tell them please, tell us what you want us to do and we are doing it already. I am sure that even those who are hungry will find something for them to do to keep them happy. But the shedding of blood should stop.’
Iwuanyanwu expressed his unwavering commitment to the transformation of Ndigbo with the aim of fostering employment opportunities, highlighting the essential need for cooperation from the South East Governors.
He clarified that Ndigbo’s aspirations were focused on progress rather than war, urging the Federal Government to ensure the proper functioning of International Airports in Igboland and the rail transport system. This, he said, would enable Igbo business entrepreneurs to operate their businesses smoothly.