…Says Okorocha, Obiano have reconciled
By Mike Ebonugwo, Clifford Ndujihe, Gbenga Oke & Olayinka Ajayi
PRESIDENT General of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, has stressed the need to address entrenched inequity, injustice and discrimination, especially against the Igbo to ensure harmonious co-existence in the country.
The two-time minister, who was elected Ohanaeze leader, exactly one month ago, pinned the raging agitation for the Republic of Biafra by Igbo youths on perceived injustice and discrimination meted to the Igbo.
Noting that he had never been a tribalist and was president of the University of Ibadan students union, he said as Ohanaeze leader, he has to convey the views of his people as it is in order to get a solution for the good of all. He added that he witnessed the civil war and does not want to witness another civil war, hence the need to address the faulty unitary structure of the country that is responsible for most of the problems.
Buttressing why Igbo youths are agitating for Biafra, Nwodo said most Igbo people may be forced to join the agitation if the discrimination and injustice against Igbo continue.
Wondering why nothing is done to Boko Haram terrorists, who picked up arms to fight Nigeria and no armed Fulani herdsmen has been prosecuted, among others, he lamented that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, carrying placards are gunned down even though they have right to freedom of movement and association as enshrined in the constitution.
‘’Law enforcement agents should not dramatise to the nation that they are from a particular part of the country, confer an immunity on criminals from that part of the country and requires a high-handed approach to those who do not come from that part of the country.
‘’The selective prosecution of criminals in our country and the exertion of brute force in certain areas of the country even without the apprehension of crime destroys the very foundation on which this federation is founded. We have increased ethnic consciousness within the length and breadth of this country and this has fired separatist interests,’’ he said.
On the recent media war between Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Willie Obiano of Anambra State, Nwodo said the duo have resolved their differences after he pleaded with them.
‘’What happened between Governor Okorocha and Governor Obiano is just a storm in a tea cup and it has been accentuated by your colleagues in the way they addressed it. They had a principled disagreement about a representation of which number of governors were crossing from one party to the other. One made an assertion and the other made a denial. The rebuttals were taken over by their press aides and put in such unpalatable light that embarrassed their superiors.
When it happened, I called Governor Okorocha and he was in South Africa. He was not even in Nigeria at the time the rebuttals were issued instantaneously and replied and claimed not to have seen the rebuttals before their publication.
‘’Governor Obiano, on the other hand, was totally embarrassed. He said to me, this is not my language. I could not have gone this far. I was prepared to discipline my staff until they presented a defence of the Imo governor’s writing but they did not bother to contact me before writing those things. They felt they were doing me a favour. He said how could I discuss my colleague in that manner and two wrongs don’t make a right.
‘’So, in the circumstance, he made a phone call to governor Okorocha and they both discussed it and put it behind them. And they have both respected my plea for an injunction that this matter should not go ahead and that has happened. We are both planning to have a meeting of all the South-East governors, which will discuss the basis of our relations,’’ he said.