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Economic Hardship: Don’t Join Protest, Ohanaeze Warns Igbo

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the socio-political group of Nigerians of southeast extraction on Monday in Enugu directed that Nigerians from the geopolitical zone should not partake in a planned national protest.

There had been plans by some groups that Nigerians at home and in the diaspora should embark on protests over their declared economic hardships in the country.

President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who gave the directive said he had received entreaties requesting him to call Nigerians from the geopolitical zone to join in the violent demonstration across country.

“As your leader, I am directing that no Igbo group or community in Nigeria or in the diaspora should join any protest against this government.

“I am still studying the situation and I have asked those who made entreaties to me to tell me what their position was prior to the current administration.

“I have asked what they did when Igbo land was disenfranchised in the past,’’ he said.

Iwuanyawu described current economic crisis in Nigeria as unfortunate, and assured that he would convene a meeting of top Igbo economists and experts to strategise on how to overcome the hardships.

He said the economists and experts would proffer advice to President Bola Tinubu on the economy, and Igbos would rally round the president to ensure that he completed his tenure.

“Igbos are opposed to military rule and prefer a democratic government where we can express our views.

“Youths all over the world are very restive and sensitive to issues affecting their future. In Nigeria, Igbo youths and youths from other tribes at various times have expressed their dissatisfaction with events in the country.

“It is clear to us that when youths from other tribes of the country are involved, they are reprimanded and forgiven; but when Igbo youths get involved they are arrested, incarcerated and even charged for serious offences.

“For example, the arrest and detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu generated a lot of problems for Igbos.

“Many Igbos, including governors, law-makers, religious leaders, traditional rulers, and business leaders pleaded for the release of Mazi Kanu without success,’’ he noted.

Iwuanyanwu also expressed displeasure that many Igbo youths were in correctional centres over flimsy reasons.

“Most of the Igbo are in the Southeast and the region is sadly marginalised in all ramifications as it is the only geopolitical zone that has only five states.

“This situation has cost us billions in financial losses. It has also cost us losses in political appointments and legislative representations.

“In 2005 and 2014, we raised these issues at various political conferences.

“All men of goodwill at the conferences agreed that it was unfair for the Southeast to have only five states.

“They recommended that an additional state be created in the Southeast, but up till today, this has not been done,’’ Iwuanyanwu said.

He said his statement should serve as a notice that if no step was taken by the Federal Government and the National Assembly to create an additional state in the Southeast, he would go to court. (NAN)

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