“Some months ago, I invited Nnamdi Kanu to my house and we met for three hours, I told him clearly that both in my personal capacity and as President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, that though there are structural imbalances and lots of injustices in Nigeria, I will never support any action that will lead to the shedding of blood in Igboland. No nation in history has survived two civil wars.
“I saw the Biafran war with my two eyes. My father was Minister for Local Government in the Eastern Regional Government of Dr. Michael Okpara but I fought on the front lines. I was a full lieutenant in the Biafran army. I fought in Ore. I fought in Orlu. I fought in Enugu. I fought in the Bafran School of Infantry. I worked for several months at the Biafran Airport in Uli.
“I told Kanu that war is not an option. I made that point clearly to him. I also told him to tone down his language. He should stop abusing the President of the country and stop calling Nigeria a zoo. A zoo is where wild animals are kept. If you say Nigeria is a zoo, it then means all of us are animals. Even if you don’t like the President as a person, you must respect the office he occupies. I told him to stop abusing our governors. In particular, I told him to stop abusing the Imo State Governor by calling him Okoroawusa and questioning his paternity, except you have the result of DNA test which proved that his father didn’t give birth to him. By questioning his paternity, you are indirectly abusing our wives and mothers. That is unacceptable. I told him to stop calling the President a pedophile. That is wrong and I won’t condone that. My own mum had her first child at the age of 13. In the olden days, once a girl attains puberty in Igboland, forms a breast and starts menstruating, she is ripe for marriage. So you are indirectly abusing the culture of our people.
“Instead of talking tough and threatening fire and brimstone, let’s work together and push for a restructured Nigeria. Let’s sit down and talk with Abuja. If we form a common and united front, the Federal Government will listen to us.
“Abusing the President will not give us Biafra. Abusing other tribes and calling them names will not give us Biafra. Telling Igbos to stop attending churches with Yoruba pastors will not give us Biafra. It will rather widen the gaps between us and these other people who themselves are victims of the injustices in Nigeria. It will annoy them and they will abandon us. We can’t push this alone. We need the support of our neighbours. By abusing and threatening others, you put the lives of our people who live there in danger.” [myad]