PAN-cultural Igbo association Ohanaeze Ndigbo has warned that the proposed month-long sit-at-home protest being planned by the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) could lead to a serious clash between the people of the southeast and the federal government.
Ipob is engaged in a running battle with the federal government over the arrest of its leader Nnamdi Kanu who was abducted by Nigerian security agent in Kenya and is currently facing treason charges in Abuja. His case is due for hearing on October 21 and Ipob has threatened that it will shut Nigeria down if the Department of State Security fails to produce Mr Kanu on the day.
Gearing up for a major showdown with the federal government, Ipob has threatened to paralyse the Nigerian economy for a month and has asked other ethnic agitation groups to join it. Fearful that the matter is now getting out of hand, Ohaneze Ndigbo lamented the ineptitude of the southeast political leaders to show bravery, heroism and political will to address the matter.
Blaming such leaders for allowing the situation to get to this stage in the first place, Ohaneze Ndigbo said that had they told President Muhammadu Buhari the truth about where he is not getting it right in the southeast, this face-off could have been avoided. According to Ohaneze Ndigbo, the adversities and calamitous impediments that had befallen the Igbo, could all be traced to bad leadership.
In a statement, it issued, Ohaneze Ndigbo said: “Ndigbo are cognisant of the fact that Abuja holds the remote controls of most actions of the southeast politicians. Most of the southeast governors are reluctant to make sacrifices for the southeast and they are inclined to trade off the Igbo’s interests for Abuja’s enticements and inducements, in compensation for doing Abuja’s bidding and interests in the east.
“We must caution Igbo politicians of the dangers and pitfalls of the calamity ahead, as the approaching one-month sit-at-home are typhoons and hurricanes that might sweep out some political office holders if care is not taken. The adoption of cosmetic approaches by governors to the impending civil disobedience and war that looms in the southeast is tragic.
“The double standards exhibited by southeast governors and leaders gave non-state actors the legitimate advantage to press for the one-month sit-at-home order if the federal government declines to arraign Ipob leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in court. The negligence of the recent security meetings of southeast governors and Igbo leaders to openly address the fundamental errors and wrongdoing of the federal government and demand the release of Nnamdi Kanu shows that there is an ace up their sleeves.
“Now, the first step in restoring peace in the southeast is to redeem the lost confidence of Ndigbo against southeast governors. The continuous observation of sit-at-home even when all the efforts to stop it by both Ipob and the governors reflects that Ndigbo is in solidarity with the Mazi Nnamdi Kanu over his incarceration by the federal government.
“We see that the continued apathy of southeast political leaders to tell President Buhari to arraign Nnamdi Kanu, gave hoodlums and perpetrators of the ongoing criminal activities the upper hand to wreak havoc in the southeast. Also, the classified endorsement of Operation Golden Dawn by southeast political office holders to restore peace and security is an acknowledgment of leadership failure and loss of loyalty of the people to their constituted authorities.
“We are worried about the forthcoming one-month sit-at-home protests and fear that the Afghanistan and Syria episodes of revolutionary actions are coming to the southeast. Ndigbo will never accept these scenarios where there will be the collapse of socio-economic and academic activities in the southeast.
“It is mandatory for the federal government on moral grounds to arraign Mazi Nnamdi Kanu before an Abuja High Court to avert the approaching disaster and chaos that looms in the southeast. Ohanaeze Ndigbo calls for a ceasefire in the violence in the east and warns the perpetrators to vacate instantly, as we caution the federal government of the consequences of its failure to comply with the law to arraign Nnamdi Kanu on October 21 2021.”