It’s time for peaceful action, not war – Ohanaeze advises FG

*Draws attention to human rights violation in South-East

*Warns of its local and international consequences

By Myke Uzendu and Nwakpa O Nwakpa

Ohanaeze Ndigbo has lent support for the South-East Governors’ declaration of public holiday on May 30, as a Biafran day.

The socio-cultural body also urged the federal government to show wisdom in handling agitation in zone.

A statement by Amb. (Prof.) George Obiozor, President-General of Ohanaeze stated that “for Ndigbo and most Africans, a time to mourn or remembre the dead is traditionally a solemn occasion.”

According to him, “It is imperative and proper for Ndigbo to remember Ndigbo and others who died across the country, either in the genocide or civil war in Nigeria from 1967 to 1970.”

Also, Ohanaeze Ndigbo urges the governors at the South-East to roll out the Ebubeagu security outfit without further delay owing to worsening insecurity in the zone.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo wants to make it categorically clear that Ndigbo will not support a break-up of Nigeria, but Ndigbo will at the same time wish be victims of Nigerian unity.

“In this context, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide consider as unfortunate the implications of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement when the INEC leadership briefed him.

“The last time I checked or heard a President speak of (shock and awe) it was reserved for the enemy, not for the citizens.

“I also want to appeal to all Igbo youths involved in violence and strongly advice them 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.

“What good does it do to us in the destruction of government institutions and facilities, most of which were built by our own people and donated to the government for our own benefit and the general good of the Society.

“I appeal to Igbo youths to kindly avoid violence inspite of all provocations.

“We know how aggrieved we all are, but peace options are the best,” he admonished.

Part of the statement reads: “Ohanaeze once more urges the federal government to reconsider the use of force in resolving the present national crises.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide considers it imperative on the part of the federal government to conduct urgent indepth investigations on the destruction of lives and property in the South-East.

“May I repeat that history shows that military and violent means to solve the National problems leads to national fractionalization, anarchy and eventual or inevitable disintegration.

“The federal government should realise and be confident enough, that no secessionist forces can defeat Nigeria.

“The action of any of the secessionist groups will continue to be like a river threatening an ocean with drowning.

“We must also recognize the historical fact that in any society where injustice becomes a rule or law, resistance becomes a duty or an obligation.

“Nigeria has a history of crises and continuity, as well as creative use of crises as a means of solving our national political problems whenever we are near the brinks of catastrophy.

“In the recent past we have had NADECO, Niger Delta Militants and Boko Haram Insurgency. The present situation in the country will soon be history. This too shall pass.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide calls for a dialogue to resolve the present national crises.

“The federal government should acknowledge that because of the reality of Nigerian irresistible pluralism it is always preferable to go for dialogue instead of force.

“Majority of Nigerians prefer unity to secession or separatism.

“They want Justice, Peace, Equity and Fairness. The golden rule of do unto others what you would like done unto you, that is complimentarity and inclusive governance.

“In fact a brief glance at Nigerian society, there is no shortage of villains among our political elites.

“But like many societies a deeper look into Nigeria you will see that the country’s political heroes still exist, though the villains may noisily dominate the political space.

“Consequently to secure Nigeria, to develop Nigeria and to have peace, the federal government should immediately engage all Nigerian groups through their various leaders in an urgent dialogue.

“Dialogue is what patriotic Nigerians, Nigerian well wishers/admirers and the international community is now expecting of Nigerian leadership to resolve the present national crises, and not military action.

“It is time for peaceful action and dialogue not war and destruction.

“Finally, Ohanaeze Ndigbo calls on the federal government to take note of the on-going human rights violations in the South East zone.

“We must beware of its international consequences and domestic implications in our ability to heal the Nigerian nation.

“Nigeria is at crossroads of its history and destiny. Let wisdom prevail.”

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