Ohanaeze Ndigbo writes Igbos across the world, caution against anti-Tinubu rallies

Says Igbos will resist military intervention

Supports Tinubu for eight years

Leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has written to Igbo all over the world.

In the letter made available to Irohinoodua on Tuesday, Iwuanyanwu asked Igbos not to join any proposed rallies and violent action against the Government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

He said he has been approached by many Igbo groups seeking what should be the position of Igbo to any planned protests.

Irohinoodua was reliably informed that some groups across the country have been planning protests motivated by a combination of political and electoral interests hidden under the current economic situation in Aftica’s largest democracy.

He said in the letter “I write as your leader at this critical period in our Country, Nigeria. Events in Nigeria today are no doubt very disturbing. The economy has turned very bad, a sceptre of frustration is everywhere.”

He said he has received many entreaties from many parts of the Country requesting him to call Igbos to join in demonstration and violent action in Nigeria against the Government.

Iwuanyanwun said “While I understand the grievances that fuel these calls for action, “we must remember the lessons of our past. Violence begets violence, and we cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of history.”

He further instructed that, no Igbo group or community in Nigeria or in Diaspora should join in this action. He said was still studying the situation in the country.

He said, “I have asked Nigerians who approached me the following questions: what did they do when the past government disfranchised Igbo land?

He said majority of the Igbo reside in the South East saying the region is marred by systemic marginalization.

“It stands as the only geopolitical zone in Nigeria confined to merely five states—a limitation that reverberates through every aspect of our existence. The ramifications of this unequal allocation are profound, inflicting upon us significant financial losses and depriving us of fair political representation.”

He said further, “In 2005 and 2014, we raised this issue at various political conferences. All men of goodwill at the conference agreed that it was unfair for the Southeast to have only five States and recommended that an additional state be created in the Southeast but up till today, this has not been done.”

Iwuanyanwu said depsite his repeated appeals to the Federal Government, the Southeast continues to languish in an unjust state.

“I have severally drawn the attention of the federal Government to this injustice against the Southeast. This statement should serve as a notice that if no step is taken by the Federal Government and the National Assembly towards the creation of an additional state in the Southeast, I will have no choice than to go to Court.”

He said in the 1999 Constitution as amended, all Nigerians endorsed the Federal Character.

The Igbo community “naturally leans towards a merit-based competitive process rather than a federal character paradigm, but we recognized the diverse tapestry of Nigeria—a federation comprising myriad ethnicities, as part of our sacrifice towards the unity of Nigeria, we accepted the federal character framework” he said

He argued that regrettably, this noble concession has been exploited to the detriment of the Igbo people.

He said “Despite our willingness to participate in this inclusive system, we find ourselves systematically marginalized from critical governmental positions. Former President Muhammadu Buhari’s candid admission clarifies this reality, as he openly acknowledged withholding opportunities from the Igbo community due to perceived political affiliations.”

He said “President Muhammadu Buhari openly confessed that he didn’t give us our due because we didn’t vote for him.”

He stated that, “Youths all over the world are very restive and sensitive to any issue affecting their future. In Nigeria, Igbo youths and youths from other tribes at various times expressed their dissatisfaction with events in the Country. It is clear to us that when youths from other tribes of the country are involved they are reprimanded and forgiven; but when the Igbo youths are involved they are arrested, incarcerated and even charged for serious offences.”

He further shared instance, “the arrest and detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu generated a lot of problems for the Igbos. Many Igbos, including Governors, members of the National Assembly, Religious leaders, Traditional Rulers, and Business leaders pleaded with Mr. President for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu but without success.”

“Also, there are many Igbo Youths detained in various correctional Centres for flimsy excuses. For example, there is a case of Eze Fredrick Nwajiagu who has been in detention in Lagos without any justifiable reason.”

In some parts of Nigeria, Igbos who answer Igbo names, who are raised in Igbo culture and tradition, continue to deny their Igbo Heritage.

He explained,”This is because some people outside the Eastern Nigeria who assume the monopoly of political power, have continued to brainwash this set of people and turned their minds against their kit and kin, the Igbos. For example, after the Civil War which was fought by the entire Eastern Nigeria this group of people profiled it as if it was a war by a few Igbos and they influenced our kit and kin in Rivers State to seize our assets in the name of abandoned property.”

“It is regrettable that up till today, in spite of the efforts of Igbos to demonstrate their commitment to one united Nigeria, Igbos are victimized in many parts of the Country and people profile them wrongly at various times.”

“We may be few in number, but we are strong in spirit,” he declared. “Together, we will weather this storm, and emerge stronger on the other side.”

He added that, “the Presidency of Nigeria was zoned to rotate between the North and the South. We accepted it. The last election was a defining moment in the country when in fact Igbos generally believed it was their turn to produce a president but some groups of Nigeria ganged up against Igbos and we failed in this quest.”

“We once more thank all Nigerians who have shown their patriotism and love for one united Nigeria by supporting a very credible Igbo candidate, Mr Peter Obi. These Nigerian leaders are too numerous to mention but we cannot fail to express our thanks to Chief Dr. Edwin Clark, the Leader of South South region, Pa Ayo Adebanjo the Leader of Afenifere and Dr. Bitrus Pogu the Leader of Middle Belt Forum for their courage in supporting an Igbo candidate.”

He stated, “Since after the 2023 general election, Igbos have been victimized over the failure of APC to win in Lagos and Abuja. It has been brought to my notice that there is a conspiracy to cripple Igbo business enterprise in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of Nigeria. All these are aimed at incapacitating the Igbos from all future political activities.”

He said, “It is important to remind all Igbos that the 2023 presidential electoral matter has reached the Nigerian Supreme Court where they declared President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR the winner. We don’t have any personal issues against him. As a Governor of Lagos State, he was good and charitable to Igbos. We have therefore decided to support him. We expect him also to reciprocate this gesture by giving us what is our due in the federation. We are not asking for another person’s position.”

“The economic crisis in Nigeria is very unfortunate.” He expressed.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide intends to convene a meeting of Igbo top economists and experts in diverse fields to strategize on how to overcome the hardships. We will also proffer advice to President Tinubu on the economy. It is important to note that the best thing for us as Igbos is to rally round President Tinubu and to do what we can to enable him complete his tenure.”

“Igbos are opposed to military rule. We prefer a democratic government where we can express our views.”

As he concluded his missive, Chief Iwuanyanwu extended an olive branch to President Tinubu, expressing support for his leadership while urging reciprocity in the quest for justice and equality.

“We are not asking for handouts,” he emphasized. “We simply seek what is rightfully ours, as equal citizens of this great nation.”

And with those words, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu reaffirmed the commitment of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to the principles of peace, justice, and unity. In the face of adversity, they stood resolute, their voices echoing across the land, a beacon of hope for a brighter future.

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