The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, has asked apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, to appeal to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and its militant wing, Eastern Security Network, ESN, to ceasefire.
IPOB and ESN are agitating for the restoration of the defunct Biafra Republic. They have been proscribed by the federal government as terrorist groups.
According to the Oluwo, both groups are ruining the chances of Igbo ethnic group to produce a president in Nigeria.
“I appeal to IPOB to sheath their sword and embrace one Nigeria. Our diversity is a strength. We must be smart with it and convert it to advantage. Achieving one Nigeria is a collective responsibility. I challenge Ohanaeze Ndigbo to take responsibility, appeal to IPOB and ESN to ceasefire. It is then that we will know we are all Nigerians in Nigeria and enjoy a better sense of belonging.
“The stakeholders in the zone should address their subjects to promote mutual coexistence. People should be allowed to go to work and transact business. Sit-at-home order will do more harm to people’s means of survival. Secession is an abstract concept in modern Nigeria,” he said.
He added that his points are of no hate for the Igbo tribe while pointing out how much love he has shown to the ethnic group.
In his words, “I want to challenge the Igbos further to name a monarch outside the South-East who has ever dressed like an Igbo king? I remain an Oba and very committed to the unity and oneness of Nigeria. The Igbos should act more, talk more and do more on the unity of Nigeria instead of their vituperation against an unrepentant preacher and promoter of one Nigeria.
“I was the first monarch outside the South-East to visit Innoson manufacturing company owned by an Igbo man Innocent Chukwuma and the only Nigerian monarch using an Innoson vehicle, which I bought in January 2018. I went further to advertise and promote the made in Nigeria vehicle on highway billboards throughout the country on my personal expenses.”