The Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the umbrella body of Igbo speaking nation worldwide, has lamented the killing of All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, by suspected members of ESN (IPOB) Group in Owerri, Imo State, on May 30.
The Igbo umbrella organization described the murder as the peak of recklessness, saying: “more condemnable is the continued silence of the political elites of the South East since the gruesome murder occurred, which would have suggested that they are good with it.
“We realise the sudden silence of graveyard in the media, direct opposite of which could have been the case, had it happened to any Southerner in the North, for instance.”
In a statement by the Director General, Strategic Planning and Implementations, Ambassador Tony Chiemeliu, Ohanaeze Ndigbo regarded the scenario playing out as part of the injustice that “even we and the media complain against. Why then are the political elites and media complacent with it? You do not wish the Igbo race well by this.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo General Assembly Worldwide hereby calls on the political elites, governments and other members of South East region to stand up against the activities of elements wanting to push the region into becoming a theatre of war for the second time through their irresponsible, unpatriotic hate and attacks on security officers and Government Infrastructures on the soil of South East in attempt to set our people against other tribes in the country.
“We have listened to comments, from the time of death of Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, the late Chief of Army Staff, to the time of appointment of Major General Farouk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff, and can only call on our people and the media to always take the path of honour and show patriotism by stopping the tribal sentiments to government decisions because, appointments into government offices especially security positions did not just start now.
“We have also listened and read comments about some supposed Igbo group speaking against action of the military, who are working hard to tame the security challenges in the region, thereby creating impression that the Igbo people have an agenda to use IPOB under the disguise of ‘Unknown Gunmen’ against some interest in the South East. Only an irredeemable fool brings war to his home land. We are particularly touched to learn that Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, said there is no IPOB in Abia State as far as he is concerned. Unguarded utterances like this portray one thing: that governments of South East are up to something.
The group wanted whoever made such reckless comments “is on his or her own and does not represent and must not be seen as representing the Igbo race. As the apex body of Igbo in the country, we stand for security and peace.
“Enough of hate speeches and fake news by elements making these tools for social vices look like representing the Igbo people of Nigeria. That is not what Igbo stands for. Igbo is about people of culture founded within the threshold of greatness for better society.
“While we believe that Igbo has the rights to being part of the leadership of Nigeria, we insist that we do not use wrong to right a perceived wrong. We must tread with caution and stand up now as governments, traditional rulers and political elites to stop the nonsense with which these devilish elements are projecting the Igbo race in the eyes of the world. We reject to accept attitudes, which present Igbo as the black sheep of the Nigerian family and therefore call for cooperation of leaders across the South East with the Federal Government and security forces in their effort to stop insecurity in parts of Nigeria, South East inclusive, for peace to reign.”