Ohanaeze Ndigbo has distanced itself from comments made by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu over the forthcoming Anambra election.
The socio-cultural group is angry over Kanu’s call for a boycott of the Anambra elections in November.
The President-General of Ohanaeze, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, while addressing members of the Anambra State house of Assembly at the Legislative Complex, Awka in Anambra State, said the IPOB leader Kanu had breached the undertaking he took before him (Nwodo) when he was released from detention.
He said, “I’m just being paternal. The way I commended them as my children, is the way I have the right to chastise them when they go wrong. We don’t need this heat up.”
Nwodo’s address read in part: “News that reached us in the past few days that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB has declared that there will be no election in Anambra in November is shocking and disturbing. I hereby counter that declaration as President General of Ohaneze.
“Whereas Ohanaeze understands the marginalization and unfair treatment of Igbos which have given rise to self-determination movements in Igboland, leaders of these movements must not arrogate to themselves the supreme leadership of Igboland.
“Statements of the kind credited to Nnamdi Kanu are provocative, misleading and unproductive. Why should Anambra people be denied the opportunity to choose their own leader? Why should any of us who are not from Anambra, no matter how highly placed, descend to the arena and dictate for Anambra people when to vote, whether to vote or who to vote for?
“Anambra, nay Igbos, are still part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Yes, we are not happy with our treatment in Nigeria. Yes, some of us want Biafra. Yes, some of us prefer a restructured Federal Republic of Nigeria. But the fact remains that we are still part and parcel of the present Federal Republic of Nigeria, bound by its laws, no matter how repressive or unjust.
“Our approach to reforms of our laws even if it leads to self-determination or restructuring must be lawful. We must convince other Nigerians of our point of view, we must strive to make others share our convictions.
“Our language must be civil, respectful and lead to consensus building. We must resist any attempt to turn division amongst us, as to which way we must go, become a source of altercations between us.
“As we speak very many of our people living in Northern Nigeria are in complete awe and consternation regarding how safe they will be after October 1st. Other Northerners living amongst us are also worried.”