The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has described the call by President Muhammadu Buhari on Western countries to designate the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation as unfortunate.
Ohanaeze, in a statement titled, “IPOB As a Product of Injustice”, reminded the President that his actions fuelled the agitation for a separate state by members of IPOB and others in the South-East, describing IPOB as a product of injustice.
DIPLOMATIC DIARY had reported that the President, in an interview granted to Bloomberg, urged the “international allies to take additional step to proscribe IPOB and designate it as a terrorist organisation.”
But Ohanaeze, in a statement on Wednesday by its spokesman, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, said what IPOB was asking for is very clear; “treat us as partners in the Nigerian project or allow us to go”.
The statement read in part: “It is most expedient to enlighten the general public that what IPOB is asking for is the parting words of a Nigerian titan, the Maitama Sule imperatives, to President Buhari when he led the Northern Leaders Forum to congratulate him shortly after his victory in the 2015 general elections.”
The statement read in part, “What I think IPOB is asking for is very clear: treat us as partners in the Nigerian project or allow us to go.
“On the other hand, how can one explain the obvious lopsidedness in the appointment of military and paramilitary personnel to head the following organisations with little or no considerations for the people of the South-East region; Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security, National Intelligence Agency, Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Immigration Service and Nigeria Customs Service; and several others.
“On the other hand, as Maitama Sule predicted the orchestrated alienation of the South-East region from the centre of power as the cause of the agitation in the region.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor, has repeatedly stated that a people denied justice may not have interest in peace.
“The request by Mr President to the West is most unachievable because the West watches with keen interest and utter resignation the pathetic governance paradigm in the country. For the avoidance of doubt, democracy all over the world requires justice, equity, mutual toleration and institutional forbearance, all of which are in short supply in the country today.”