The new President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor has advised leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu to bear in mind that the Igbo race is not fighting a war with anybody.
Prof Obiozor, who said this during a World Press Conference, tagged “Ohanaeze Ndigbo: The Dawn of a New Era” at Ohaneze Ndigbo Secretariat in Enugu on Wednesday, appealed to the IPOB leader to drop his agitation of calling for a sovereign nation.
He cautioned that the Biafra nation was beyond Kanu to decide alone and advised that all utterances and actions that could raise anti-Igbo sentiment or put Ndigbo in danger must be avoided as diplomacy is the best way to go, urging Kanu to, henceforth “toe the part of honour, listen to the voice of wisdom and drop his agitation for a separate state.”
According to him, “The Igbo nation is not at war with Nigeria and has nothing pending before any authority that demands a separate existence from Nigeria.
“Nnamdi Kanu is one of us and he must listen to some of us for several reasons. The fact and reality are that the issues of Biafra are above and beyond his capacity to decide.
“He must listen because he is one of us and we are all in this dilemma together. And our mutual and collective responsibilities are sacred and must be respected.”
While debunking the insinuations in certain quarters that as the new Ohanaeze helmsman, he would act as a puppet in the hands of Nigerian authorities and champion anti-Igbo interest, Obiozor reminded the Igbo that what the late Biafran leader, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu meant by ‘the bones shall rise’ didn’t mean conflict, violence and war, emphasizing that, “Definitely the bones have arisen, re-incarnated or resurrected but in Ojukwu’s idea, the mission is creative and constructive. Ndigbo are builders and not nation wreckers/destroyers.”
The former Nigerian Ambassador to the USA, however, declared the need to be assertive and positive minded saying “it is time for reality.”
He said: “The game is over for pretenders, imposters. We must be assertive, free and positive. Igbos don’t want beggarly leadership. Enough of the nonsense; the dilemma has finally come to an end”
He said that Ohanaeze Ndigbo under his leadership has the capacity to build enough consensus among the Igbos to engage Nigerians, noting that: “I have ideas of our pains and grief.”
He former diplomat also said: “My executives are the best brains. I am ready to serve Ndigbo and my team will not disappoint.”
He pointed out that the greatest problem of Ndigbo in Nigeria is insecurity, promising that his team would ensure that security of Igbos were guaranteed. “Our greatest problem and priority is our security. Insecurity is the worst affliction of man. Without it, there is no peace.
“The security of Ndigbo is the priority of our team. We must find a way of dealing with this challenge even beyond Nigeria.
“We are the most highly exposed group of people in the country and that is because we are usually successful in whatever we do as a people.
“We must learn how to be careful. Beyond individual precaution, we could control our insecurity with knowledgeable leadership and that is not a child’s play.”
He appealed to Ndigbo not to duel “on what divide but should focus on what unites us as a people, adding that “My dream type of leadership is leadership/manager model using the most and available efficient persons and instruments to achieve Igbo collectively defined objectives.”