Nigerians want unity, inclusive governance, not separation – Ohanaeze
By Millicent Onaga, Enugu
Apex Igbo body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said that what majority of Nigerians prefer is unity, justice, equity and fairness and not succession or separatism. It added that, though Ndigbo will not support the break-up of Nigeria, they (Ndigbo) will not be victims of Nigerian unity.
Addressing a press conference at the Ohanaeze headquarters in Enugu, the president general, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador George Obiozor, urged the government to call for dialogue with the various leaders of groups in resolving the present Nigeria crisis, rather than trying to resolve the national crisis by the use of military action.
He noted that the use of military and violent means to solve national problem leads to inevitable disintegration or fractionalisation.
“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 and the international community is now expecting of Nigerian leadership, to resolve the current problem,” he said.
Obiozor said it was imperative on the part of the federal government to look deep into the ongoing crisis of destruction of lives and property in the South East with more in-depth investigations.
He condemned the destruction of government institutions and facilities, most of which, he said, were built by the people and donated to the government for the benefit of the people and general good of the society.
“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 our society? I appeal to Igbo youths to kindly avoid violence in spite of all provocations. We know how aggrieved we are, but peace option is the best.
“I want to appeal to all Igbo youths involved in violence and strongly advise them that there is nothing to celebrate in violence. We cannot change our lot and situation by steering and provoking hatred among ourselves, raining insults and abuses on ourselves and declaring war against those who disagree with our own ideas and approach to resolving our common problems,” he said.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide calls for dialogue to resolve the present national crisis. The federal government should acknowledge that because of the reality of Nigeria’s irresistible pluralism, it is always preferable to go for dialogue instead of force.
“Majority of Nigerians prefer unity to succession or separatism. They want justice, peace, equity and fairness.”
He also backed the declaration of May 30 as Biafra Day by South East governors, saying a time to mourn or remember the dead was traditionally a solemn occasion.
Ohanaeze said it was imperative and proper for N’digbo to remember their own who died across the country, either in genocide or civil war in Nigeria between 1967 and 1970.