The Apex body of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide has warned Buhari to choose between dialogue and war in a press statement issued by publicity Secretary of the group on Thursday.
This statement became necessary following yet another statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari that “tougher times await the people of the South East of Nigeria” among other remarks has continued to cause tension in the zones as everyone is tensed up
The President who made the remarks in a rare interview on Thursday warned that the Igbo are scattered everywhere in Nigeria with their businesses and properties and should not be making trouble. He reminded the South East that they are landlocked, “stressing that this time around, they would not allow them any access to the outside world by sea”
It can be recalled that earlier on Tuesday, 1st june 2021, while addressing the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu in the Villa President Buhari “vowed to shock those bent on destroying his Government. The President said that “attacks across the nation were targeted to show that his administration has failed”.
Mr. President added that “those misbehaving in certain parts of the country were obviously too young to know the travails and loss of lives that attended the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they will understand”. He stressed: “we are going to be very hard sooner than later.”
He ended with “In any case, we said we will talk to them in the language they will understand. We will organise the police and the army to pursue them, that’s what we can do and we will do it.”
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Ambassador Professor Obiozor,
therefore cautioned that the unprecedented lopsidedness of the Nigerian government in favour of the Fulani, to the exclusion of other ethnic groups, especially in the security architecture, will rather exacerbate the internal security challenges in the country.
Obiozor said that Ohanaeze Ndigbo has followed with deep concern the security sequence targeted at the Igbo namely
” The deliberate posting of Northern Military and Police Officers at the various strategic locations in the South East.
” The Special National Security Council Meeting, where major decisions were taken for the South East and the South South to the utter exclusion of security personnel from the South East of Nigeria.
“The ominous Launching of the Operation Restore Peace in the South East and South South, the shoot on sight order by the
Inspector General of Police targeted at the Igbo Youths
” And the “Shock Twit where Mr. President stated that “those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand”
“Today, June 10, 2021, Mr. President stated on Arise TV that “Tough Times await the South East”. He reiterated: “In any case, we said we will talk to them in the language they will understand. We will organise the police and the army to pursue them, that’s what we can do and we will do it”
It could also be recalled that Obiozor organised a press conference last week where he used the occasion to advise the Igbo Youths that “there is nothing to celebrate in violence. 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”.
He Furthermore ,underscored the sensitive nature of the Shock Twit by Mr President, whereby Twitter intervened he said an”and since then the Social Media all over the world are now at alert. Eminent Nigerians such as Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief EK Clarke, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Gen. T Y Danjuma, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, Sen. Eyinna Abaribe, etc have urged President Buhari to embrace the norms of democracy adding that what the country needs as a matter of urgency is dialogue, mutual toleration and shared values; and not the use of force” he stated.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo further believes that the agitation by the Igbo youth over marginalization is justified. In spite of the orchestrated alienation of the Igbo, we are committed to a diplomatic approach towards a restructured Nigeria that guarantees equity, fairness and rule of law.
With the present level of violence in Nigeria; armed robbery, banditry, kidnappings, unknown gun men, herdsmen menace, Boko Haram, mass poverty, unemployment, downward spiral of Nigerian currency and other untoward signals, Nigeria has arrived at a critical juncture. Both history and literature show that the decision taken by a leader at a critical juncture has a lasting effect for the society. President Buhari has a choice between Dialogue on one hand and an avoidable War against the Igbo on the other.