The Apex socio- cultural and Political body of Igbos Worldwide, Ohaneze Ndigbo has frowned at a press statement issued by a Pan Yoruba Group, the Apapo O’Odua Koya (AOKOYA) on the on-going youth uprising in Nigeria particularly in Lagos, which it said is targeted at setting the Yorubas against Ndigbo.
The statement issued on Wednesday, listed the facilities destroyed in Lagos during the ENDSARS protest which it noted all belongs to people of Yoruba extraction, and fingered Igbo youths of spearheading the activities.
In a statement released on Thursday, the President-General, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, said the Igbo group finds the statement disheartening not necessarily because of the untruth in its sentiment but because it was targeted at destroying the age long good relationship between the Igbo and the Yoruba.
It read in part; “Ohanaeze strongly believes that the press statement is craftily drafted showing a skillful use of underhand tactics to achieve a set goal which in this case is to set Yoruba against Ndigbo.
“We are ready to vehemently resist this in our time knowing the historical affinity of these two great ethnic groups dating back to the days of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe through to the famous hand shake across the Niger propagated by our iconic leader Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu- Ojukwu.
“This spontaneous relationship built by our forefathers over the years has been strengthened in the last three years by the political emancipation movement, being propelled by the Southern And Middle Belt leadership Forum ( SMBLF), made up of four ethno- political bodies of Ndigbo, in the South East, Afenifere in the South West, PANDEF in the South-South and the Middle Belt Forum in the North Central Nigeria.
“Ohanaeze feels based on the intelligence available to it, that the motive of this disturbing statement is not only to overtake the mileage covered by this group in setting their people free from the hegemonic bondage but to ensure its destruction.”
Nnia Nwodo made it clear that Ndigbo are focused and unequivocal about what they want in a contemporary Nigeria as already articulated in the terms of engagement of this group, which is to restructure Nigeria for a true federal system where Justice and equity will reign.
He urged the Yoruba and the rest of Nigeria to disregard any outburst from anybody as coming from Ndigbo, that is not as succinctly captured in the terms of agreement of the ethnic nationalities.
“It’s therefore against this backdrop that Ohanaeze Ndigbo wishes to vehemently deny the allegation of Igbo youth involvement in Lagos #Endsars protest as part of a grand design to destroy Yoruba economy.
“For the obvious reason of having most of their businesses scattered all over the country particularly in Lagos, knocks out the thinking of an Igbo setting out to destroy another person’s economy. Only a fool living in a glass house uses stone to settle scores.
“Already, as it had always been during every crisis in Nigeria, Igbo businesses are target as happened last Tuesday in Abuja when car depots, belonging to Igbos was set ablaze by hoodlums.
“Ohanaeze believes and empirically too, that Ndigbo youths underlying reasons for getting involved in the on-going #Endsars protests, is not anything different from the reasons of other youths in Nigeria which borders on aggravated neglect of Nigeria youths due to poor governance rooted in dubious political structure,” he said.
The Ohaneze leader urged the Yoruba ethnic group to disregard the position being pushed by the AOKOYA, as according to him, it is not based on facts and reality on ground.