Buhari Tweet: Ohanaeze Ndigbo asks Buhari to apologise to Ndigbo
By Sunday Elom
President Muhammadu Buhari has been under criticism and condemnation by many Nigerians, especially those of Igbo extraction, over his now-deleted tweet thread in which he made reference to the 1967-1970 civil war and threatened to deal with Nigerians “misbehaving in the language they understand.”
Although Twitter, on Wednesday, deleted the thread, saying “this tweet violated the Twitter Rules,” the Southeast region, which recorded millions of casualties during the civil war, has insisted that the president’s threat is directed against the region.
In its reaction to Buhari’s threat, the Igbo sociocultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, under the leadership of Uche Okwukwu called on Mr. President to tender an apology to the Igbo nation over the threat.
On Thursday, the group, in a statement signed by its secretary-general, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said it was peeved that President Buhari could make such a provocative statement when the people, particularly the Southeast, are yet to get over the wounds of the civil war, coupled with the fact that the region is still battling with the trauma it has suffered in the hands of Buhari-led administration.
The sociocultural group, which stated that they were strongly supporting the efforts of the southeast governors to restore peace and stability within the region at this point in time, demanded that the president should meet with the governors, leaders and youths of the Southeast on a regular basis in order to find lasting solutions to the current situation in the region.
According to the statement, the group said; “Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide had studied the proclamation of President Muhammadu Buhari on social media responding to the insecurity challenges in Southeastern Nigeria and we obliged President Buhari to quickly rescind the threats of repeating the episode of the civil war experience which killed three million Igbo people and wreaked havoc on Igbo properties, but rather Mr. President should tender an unreserved apology to Ndigbo, for the civil war contentions against southeast to help avert possible misinterpretation and Nigerians misconstruing him.
“We are using this channel to remind President Buhari that killer herdsmen and Northern bandits (that), based on the earlier warnings of USA Embassy Abuja that ‘they were heading south to destabilise the region,’ the recent provocative onslaught against the southeast gave rise to Northern delinquents (and) commandeered the moment to unleash affliction on security formations and government agencies like INEC.
“We are solidly behind the southeast governors in these tribulations and difficulties to restore peace and stability in the southeast, and President Buhari should regularly be scheduled to meet with Igbo governors and leaders, including youths and agitators. This exhibition of love is what Nigerians expect from Buhari, not civil war magniloquence.
“Federal Government honoured the Yoruba nation through MKO Abiola by the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day to heal the psyche and wounds of the past; Southeast should be honoured on June 12 Democracy Day through presidential pardon and amnesty for all repentant Biafra agitators.
“We will not like to be threatened with the genocide of 30 months of Biafra War again.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, who defended President Buhari’s tweet on Wednesday lashed out on Twitter for deleting the tweet, questioning why the management of twitter had not deleted the “inciting posts” by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Mr. Mohammed insisted that Twitter’s mission in Nigeria was suspicious.