Ohanaeze Ndigbo Saturday said the people of South-east had legitimate reasons to be angry with Nigeria, citing undue proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Ohanaeze, a pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, hailed the release of Igbo women who were recently arrested and detained for protesting the disappearance of the IPOB Leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu in Owerri, Imo state last week.
The President General of the organisation, Chief John Nwodo, expressed this concern in a statement yesterday, saying the IPOB leaders “are daring to speak out in the face of degradation, marginalization and inhuman treatment.”
He, however, said Ohanaeze “is pleased that reason and respect for human rights prevailed and that a little over one hundred women who were exercising their fundamental human rights could not conceivably be any threat to peace in Imo State.”
Nwodo, who is recuperating abroad from a mild surgery, warned Ndigbo against “shooting themselves on the foot no matter the provocation. I salute the courage of the Imo State judiciary and the professionalism of the State Attorney General.
“Never again shall we Igbos at this critical time shoot ourselves again on the foot. No matter how provocative, incendiary and unruly IPOB may be, they are our children. Aggrieved children can sometimes lose their guard,” he noted.
He urged Imo State Government “to demonstrate some restraint in the future. Here are young people described as terrorists for daring to speak out in the face of degradation, marginalization and inhuman treatment.
“While they are proscribed, Fulani herdsmen and their sponsors, Meyetti Allah move about freely reeling out new threats, occupying Southern and Middle Belt farms forcibly with the law enforcement agents either aiding them or intentionally looking away.
“Churches are invaded, priests killed yet no one is arrested. Thousands are killed, thousands are rendered homeless, no one cares. IDPS are established only when the displaced come from a favoured section of the country.”
He noted that Boko Haram looted, plundered and kidnapped, though the federal government negotiated with them spending unappropriated and undisclosed sums.
Despite the criminality of herdsmen and Boko Haram, Nwodo said IPOB “is proscribed for just speaking up. Arewa youths spoke treason and were defended by Governors and treated with privilege.
“No wonder our security chiefs are appointed on the basis of where they come from. Any Igbo who is not angry at the situation in the country today must have his head re-examined.
“Now, they contemplate Operation Python Dance 3 without dealing with the carnage of Operation Python dance 2 where UN rules of engagement were flagrantly violated. Who won’t be angry under these circumstances?”
He asked Governor Rochas Okorocha not to allow his anger at IPOB’S verbal provocations override his paternity. Borrow a leaf from me. I am abroad and emerging from theatre for a mild surgery.
“I have read how it is being said that Ohanaeze and the South East governors masterminded you to detain our sisters. But the false propaganda did not stop me from directing Ohanaeze National Publicity Secretary to condemn the detention. The provocation, double standards, and subjection to servitude far outweigh the denigration their false propaganda subject us to.”