The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday, has frowned at the shoot-at-sight order given to Nigerian soldiers on Igbo youths.
The group also condemned the alleged deployment of northern commanders to south-east and south-south zones.
Ohanaeze warned that the government should learn from history by not fighting an unwinnable war against nationalism, and advised the Buhari- led the government to “seek possible peaceful options that are the only solution that guarantees national unity and peaceful coexistence”.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo in its statement noted that “the dream of Nigerian unity is receding and fading fast with violence, crises, and conflicts”.
In a statement by its spokesman, Alex Ogbonnia, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor was quoted as being “unequivocal that the current problems confronting Nigeria, example, ethnic militia, agitation for secession, insurgency, etc, are products of sustained orchestrated injustice in governance”.
According to the statement: “The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to the the pattern of deployment of northern military officers to the South-East which lends credence to the above report. An online medium revealed that in preparation for its shoot-at-sight order, the Nigerian army has posted Northern Muslims as commanders over its operations and brigades in Anambra, Imo, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Benue, Edo, Delta and Rivers States.
“In Anambra State, the Cantonment Commandant of the 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, is Col. Abdulsalam Abubakar Sambo, a Hausa-Fulani Muslim; while in Imo State, the Brigade Commander of 34 Brigade, Obinze, is Brig Gen Ibrahim Tukura, another northerner. In Abia State, the Brigade Commander of 14 Brigade, Ohafia, is Brig General M. Ibrahim, still, a northerner; while in Akwa Ibom State, the Brigade Commander of 2 Brigade, Uyo, is Brig Gen Faruk Mijinyawa, another northerner. This is truly worrisome!
“The Shoot at Sight Order given to the Nigerian soldiers on how to engage the Igbo youths in the oncoming week is worrisome. The Sahara Reporters, May 8, elaborated on the new secret plan which by the grace of God has come to the public domain.
“The report further revealed that the exercise will commence from Orlu in Imo State, South East Nigeria. This is very disturbing.
“The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Prof. George Obiozor, an erudite scholar, a seasoned diplomat with diverse experience in governments, has admonished the Nigerian government to “learn a lesson from history by not fighting an unwinnable war against nationalism but seek possible peaceful options that are the only solution that guarantees national unity and peaceful coexistence.
“Obiozor lamented that subnational consciousness or ethnocentric nationalism which is a dangerous form of nationalism to national unity has taken over Nigeria. The dream of Nigeria’s unity is receding and fading fast with violence, crises, and conflicts.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo is unequivocal that the current problems confronting Nigeria, for example, ethnic militia, agitation for secession, insurgency, etc, are products of sustained orchestrated injustice in governance. For instance, Senator Shehu Sani, the former senator for Kaduna Central, vehemently decried that the Igbo have been systematically marginalised since the civil war.
“Speaking in Kaduna at a meeting organised by the Association of Eze-Ndigbo in the Diaspora on Saturday, May 8, 2021, Sani described the marginalisation as a collective punishment.There has been a systemic exclusion and marginalisation of your people, stemming from the historical Biafra war. This is a collective punishment”, he declared.
“Every right thinking Nigerian, who loves the corporate existence of Nigeria, should align with Shehu Sani’s position. The problem with Nigeria in general and the Igbo in particular is located in injustice and the simple solution lays in manifest dialogue, equity and justice. Ohanaeze Ndigbo warns that Shoot-at- Sight Order to soldiers on Igbo youth is a call for another pogrom and genocide.Ohanaeze asks the federal government to refrain from the use of force in resolving the present national crises.
“History shows that military and violent means to solve the national question is bound to fail as it leads to further national fractionalization, anarchy and eventual or inevitable disintegration, as in all empires or multi-national states or countries”.
In a related development, the former national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, yesterday, said that unknown gunmen killing policemen and vandalizing their facilities in the South East region have chosen the wrong target.