From Maurice Okafor,Enugu
After three weeks of silence over the recent proclamation by leader of Indigenous People of Biafra[IPOB],Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, that he should be stoned to death, the President General,Ohanaeze Ndigbo [world wide],Chief Nnia Nwodo,has said that he is not deterred by the ‘stone to death’ threat to his life ,but more determined to continue offering his to the cause of Igbo nation until his tenure expires in January 2021,
Chief Nnia Nwodo dropped this hints when a group of Igbo women paid a solidarity cum prayer visit on Monday evening,July 13, to Ohanaeze National secretariat,located at No 7 Parks avenue,GRA, Enugu,condemning ‘the stone to death’ threat on him advocated by Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader.
He disclosed that the ‘Stone to death threat’ is only but one in the series of threat to his life, family and property conceived by the IPOB leader,Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his cohorts to undue him, but amidst the threats he remains committed in fighting the Igbo cause using diplomacy in his capacity as Ohanaeze Ndigbo President General, till his tenure ends in January 2021.
Nwodo said he has bluntly rejected pressure from several quarters across the globe to make a categorical statement or respond to Nnamdi Kanu’s threat but choose to remain calm because the Igbo tradition forbids a father from joining issues with his son.
He stated,’ Ever since the stone to death threat to my life went viral, I receives several calls from people from both within and outside the country. Many of them wanting to know the line of action I am taking to deal with the IPOB leader. while many others proffered solution and advised me on way forward. Most often,journalists will call to request for an interview on the matter.. In all these,I never issued a press statement or have I addressed a press conference.It is just for the fact that Igbo tradition and culture forbids a father joining issues with his son.Based on the fact that I am currently the father of Igbo nation, I reserve my comments against the IPOB leader,hoping he will realise his mistakes’.
He narrated some of the previous threats to include the bombing of his village home at Ukehe community, in Igbo Etiti local government area of Enugu allegedly by IPOB. But he never wanted the security agencies to go the extra miles in unveiling those behind the act in the spirit of brotherliness,with expectation that the master minders will repent of their actions. At a time,he received a threat that his only son would be killed. In another instance, a fake news was promoted on social media platform that he had a serious accident while on his route to Anambra state and in state of comma. But when the Anambra state Governor,Chief Willie Obiano,called to know where he was admitted,he told him that he is in his house in Enugu and never stepped outside on that particular date.
The President General stressed there was a period he received more than six threat messages to his life each day,all of which could be traced to one source but he never considered using the security agencies to investigate and arrest the suspects, just for the sake he vowed to be father to all.
According to Nwodo, the IPOB claim that he went to Sokoto to assure that he [Nnia Nwodo] will prefer to be killed instead of an Hausa/Fulani man will be killed in Igbo land is an old video during a peace truce in which he responded to assurance of protection of lives and properties of Igbo sons and daughters living in the North made by the Sultan of Sokoto,himself.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo President General,Chief Nnia Nwodo lamented that he went the extra miles to secure the release of the IPOB leader from detention, when the group was declared as a terrorist organization aftermath of their excesses,consequent upon Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was clamped into detention. Nwodo said led a team of experienced lawyers from the South East zone to a debate with the Attorney General of the Federation, and convinced him why IPOB should not be declared as a terrorist organization. Subsequent upon bail was granted to Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader.
Nwodo disclosed that currently,he is one of the leaders of ethnic nationalities forum comprising Afenifere,Middle belt forum,Ndigbo and others who took President Muhammadu Buhari to court, with allegations that he has violated the federal character policy of appointments embedded in the Nigerian Constitution,since most of his appointments are lopsided to favour a particular zone against the others.
Nwodo said he is the one who signed the petition. But since thereafter,President Buhari has not threatened him.But it is very unfortunate that the threats he received were from his ethnic group whom he have defended their cause fervently.
The Ohanaeze President General said the quantum of solidarity messages he has received since thereafter strengthened his zeal and commitment to the cause of Igbo race and promised to do all the needful within his reach in realizing stated objectives till his tenure expires.
Earlier in her speech, the chairperson of Ohanaeze women wing ,Enugu state chapter,Dr Mrs Selina Adubia, said their solidarity visit and prayer meeting is to demonstrate their support to the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo under Chief Nnia Nwodo and the various activities which the organization has set in motion to pursue the Igbo agenda in the Nigerian state, particularly the restructuring policy been canvassed by the organization. Professor Mrs Nwaduba,the chairperson,planning and strategy committee,Ohanaeze Women wing, among others corroborated the speech of Mrs Aduba and prayed God to protect Chief Nnia Nwodo against evil imaginations and plans of the enemies of Igbo nation.
The Women resolved that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader must tender an apology to Chief Nnia Nwodo and the Igbo nation, over his ‘stone to death threat’ unguided statement on Nwodo.
The solidarity march by the women came five days after Ohanaeze Youths took a solidarity march along some streets in Enugu,declaring their support for Chief Nnia Nwodo led Ohanaeze Ndigbo and dissociated the Igbo Youths from the IPOB leader,Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s stone to death threat on Chief Nwodo. The Youths gave Mazi Nnamdi Kanu an ultimatum to apologize to Nnia Nwodo, the Ohanaeze and the entire Igbo nation within seven days or be ready to face dire consequences.
The President of Ohanaeze,Enugu state chapter,Chief Alex Ogbonnia, the host thanked the women for their demonstration of support and prayers to Chief Nnia Nwodo led Ohanaeze Ndigbo, assuring that Chief Nwodo will continue to do his best for the Igbo nation, as he promised.
Chief Ogbonnia said that Ohanaeze as a parent body of all Igbo socio cultural organizations had welcomed IPOB to it’s fold but the organization is very worried with the current attitude of it’s leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, in ridiculing Igbo leaders and elders. He lamented that Nnamdi Kanu had organised the humiliation and intimidation of Senator Ike Ekweremadu at Germany and this time around, he proclaimed a ‘stone to death threat’ on President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo[worldwide], but is very happy the Igbo Youths rejected his request. However, Chief Ogbonnia said exhibition of character and attitude is not within the confines of Igbo tradition .