Ohaneze Ndigbo has described as disheartening the comments made by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Nigeria South East Region group – Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) over the unrest and destruction in Lagos in the wake of the #EndSARS protest.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural and political body in reaction said it was outraged by the “vituperative and inciting outrage” of Kanu, over the destruction.
President general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, in a statement, said “We find the statement disheartening, not necessarily because of the untruth in its sentiment, but that it’s obviously being engineered and targeted at the age-long good relationship between the Igbo and the Yoruba”
Kanu’s comments were contained in an audio file that went viral as the #EndSARS protest turned violent.
The Ohaneze stance is in response to a statement issued by a pan-Yoruba group, Apapo O’Odua Koya on the ongoing youth uprising in Lagos as it relates to Ndigbo youths.
“Ohanaeze strongly believes that the press statement is craftily drafted showing a skilful use of underhand tactics to achieve a set goal, which in this case is to set Yoruba against Ndigbo,” said Nwodo.
The group denied allegations that the Igbo youth involvement in Lagos #EndSARS protest was part of a grand design to destroy the Yoruba economy.
“We are ready to vehemently resist this in our time, knowing the historical affinity of these two great ethnic groups dating back to the days of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe through to the famous handshake across the Niger propagated by our iconic leader Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu- Ojukwu,” said Nwodo.
“This spontaneous relationship built by our forefathers over the years has been strengthened in the last three years by the political emancipation movement, being propelled by the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum made up of four ethnopolitical bodies of Ndigbo, in the South East, Afenifere in the South West, PANDEF in the South-South, Adenomere and the Middle Belt Forum in North Central Nigeria.
“Ohanaeze feels based on the intelligence available to it that the motive of this disturbing statement is not only to overtake the mileage covered by this group in setting their people free from the hegemonic bondage but to ensure its destruction.
“Ndigbo are focused and unequivocal about what they want in a contemporary Nigeria as already articulated in the terms of engagement of this group which is to restructure Nigeria for a true federal system where justice and equity will reign.
“We, therefore, wish to refute any position being ascribed to Ndigbo even if such position is being adduced by an Igbo that is not within the realm of the struggle to free Nigeria as encapsulated in the terms of agreement of these ethnic nationalities.”