The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide yesterday urged pro-Biafra agitators to join peace moves to secure Igbo people everywhere.
Its President-General Prof George Obiozor, appealed to the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) to join its peace mission.
He said it was part of the resolutions of the reconciliation committee set up by Southeast governors during its inaugural meeting at the Ohanaeze headquarters in Enugu last Tuesday.
Ohanaeze also invited IPOB’s Eastern Security Network (ESN) the Biafra National Guard (BNG), the Biafran Zionist Movement BZM, amongst others, to be part of the peace talks.
Obiozor, in a statement by the organisation’s National Publicity Secretary Chiedozie Ogbonnia, said it was for the safety of Ndigbo wherever they are.
“The committee, which has started consultations with stakeholders and leaders across the region, the country and the diaspora, stated categorically that there is no substitute for peace.
“The ultimate objective of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and indeed every Igbo is to ensure peace, development, security and safety of Ndigbo wherever they are particularly in their homeland.
“Igbo everywhere should make every effort and contributions necessary to guarantee peace and security in Igboland.
“Any information, suggestions, petitions, and documents that would facilitate the work of the committee should be channelled through the Secretary of the committee, Peter Aneke at the Ohanaeze National Secretariat, No 7 Park Avenue, GRA, Enugu,” the spokesman said
Also yesterday, Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, absolved IPOB and other pro-Biafran agitators of culpability in the attacks on police facilities and killing of security operatives in the Southeast.
According to him, the attacks were being carried out by those he described as “fifth columnists imported into Igboland” whose key motivation was the destabilisation of Igboland.
Speaking with our correspondent after a keynote address at the Nigerian Bar Association Owerri Branch 2021 Law Week, Abaribe said the separatist group was not responsible for the attacks.
According to him, those sponsoring the violence in the region were only interested in making Igboland ungovernable.
The senator, who represents Abia South Senatorial District, said: “Anybody who is seeing all these problems in the Southeast as coming from the IPOB, anyone trying to pin the insecurity situation in Southeast on IPOB or MASSOB is making a mistake. We do not think so.
“Those of us from the Southeast here know that this is nothing but fifth columnists imported into Igboland to destabilise it. This is because Igboland is the safest place that we had in this country.
“All they want to do is to cause confusion and make this place ungovernable so that they can go out and say there is terrorism here.
“We are not terrorists. The ethos of the Igbo man is very simple: live and let live. We build; we don’t destroy. We never kill because we take life very precious.
“So, anyone telling you all these, it’s people who come from elsewhere trying to destabilise Igboland. But, it will never happen.”
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) called on youths to embrace dialogue and peace and forestall violence ravaging the country.
Its Director in Enugu State, Mr Isaac Onukwube, made the call yesterday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu while reacting to recent attacks in the Southeast and other parts of the country.
He advised parents to call their children and wards to order, saying it was not the best time to foment troubles for the country.
He said: “This is the time all the stakeholders in the country need to work hard to ensure that we do not allow what is happening now to metamorphose in a tense atmosphere.
“There are grievances but in a round table, we will begin to find ways to dialogue with those in authority which will be done more decently.
“Dialogue is the only way out and if we burn all the police station in the southeast or kill all the security men, it will not solve the problem.
“The only solution is for government at all levels to begin to address the issue of youth restiveness.”
The director urged the youths not to engage in any activity that would further put the unity of the nation in danger.
“There is always a way to handle some of the issues and we do not need to take laws into your hands,” he advised.