Against the alleged arrest of several youths in states in the South-East, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof George Obiozor; First Republic Aviation Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi and former Anambra State governor, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife and others, have raised the alarm that the Federal Government is plotting war on Igboland.
Prof. Obiozor, during a press conference in Enugu on Friday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to halt the use of brute force on the South-East and advised him to rather employ dialogue by engaging all Nigerian groups through their various leaders, instead of his decision to quell rising tension and agitations in the South-East with force.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide called for dialogue to resolve the present national crisis. The Federal Government should acknowledge that because of the reality of Nigeria’s irresistible pluralism, it is always preferable to go for dialogue instead of force.
“May I repeat that history shows that military and violent means to solve national problem leads to national fractionalization, anarchy and eventual or inevitable disintegration. The Federal Government should realise and be confident enough, that no secessionist forces can defeat Nigeria,” Obiozor said.
While urging Buhari to reconsider the use of force in resolving the present national crisis, the Ohanaeze leader asked the government to consider it imperative to conduct urgent in-depth investigations on the destruction of lives and property in the Southeast.
While condemning the statement by Buhari threatening to shock some Nigerians, Obiozor urged youths in Igbo land to join Ohanaeze Ndigbo in seeking a peaceful solution to the security challenges.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo wants to make it categorically clear that Ndigbo will not support the break-up of Nigeria but Ndigbo will not be victims of Nigerian unity. In this context, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide considers as unfortunate the implications of the President’s statement.
“The last time I checked or heard a President speak of shock and awe, it was reserved for the enemy, not the citizens. I also want to appeal to all Igbo youths involved in the violence that we cannot change our lots and situations by steering and provoking hatred amongst ourselves, raining insults and abuses on ourselves and declaring war against those who disagree with your own ideas and approach to resolving our common problems,” Obiozor said.
In the same vein, Chief Amaechi said the killing of Igbo youth was not by accident, noting that anybody who can count his teeth with his tongues knows that there has been a plan to undo the Igbo and if possible visit genocide on Igbo land.
According to him, only a tree hears that it will be cut down and still stands on the same place. He therefore called on elders of Igbo land, traditional rulers of Igbo land, religious leaders of Igbo land to come together and examine the whole thing and find a way to stop the killing or “reduce the chances of our being killed or genocide being visited on us.
“It could be tactical withdrawal of some statements and actions of youth that could give ammunition to enemies or apply diplomacy and politics. And also approach leaders from other parts of Nigeria and appeal to them to look and observe what is happening and for them to know that if they finish the Igbo, they will be emboldened to go after the non-Igbo in order to achieve the century old objective, which is very well known.
“They said they were killing IPOB and MASSOB youth, but most of them are innocent. The elders should talk to the youth, both IPOB and MASSOB, not to give weapons to their enemies to kill them. The Igbo should come together and use their feet to search what has fallen into the water,” Amechi said.
Also, former Governor Ezeife, has accused the Federal Government of sending soldiers and policemen to the South-East with the sole intention to terrorise and kill the people, particularly the young men.
Ezeife, who said the incident had been going on for almost two weeks now, corroborated it with the instruction by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to officers recently deployed to the South-East for special assignment, to deal ruthlessly with the people without bothering about human rights violations.
According to him, since then, there have been gory pictures and stories of what have been happening in the East.
“I have been saying that the Buhari-led Federal Government is pushing the Southeast out of Nigeria. How can you explain that in a country where you are a citizen, your children are being massacred like that?”
He alleged that the soldiers are targeting young men so that when the full war is declared, there won’t be any young men to fight back. This, he said is the preliminary aspect of the war, and it is intended to kill all the young men who can come out and fight and leave the old men who can’t even hold a gun.
“This is what I see with my eyes. I can’t understand how a president of Nigeria can be showing such a level of hatred for a part of the country he is governing,” he said.
Former National Vice President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Monday Ubani, said he has read about such reports but was yet to get an independent confirmation from the governments in the South-East.
He said if the development is true, then the quietness of the governors, the senators and House of Representatives members from the South-East was disappointing, as they were the right people expected to raise the alarm.
President General of Igbo Speaking Community in Lagos, Chief Sunday Ude, said what is happening in the South-East is very bad and unfair.
He called on the Federal Government to stop the killing as a matter of urgency because it is getting out of hand.