By Princely Onyenwe
■ M. I Okpara Would Have Been More Strategic If It Was In His Time – OYC
The Ohanaeze Youth Council(OYC), the apex youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide have described the statement credited to Southeast governors/stakeholders who claimed that they are not in support of the call for self-determination by Igbo youths as a mere watery statement.
While reacting to the meeting of Southeast governors and stakeholders held in Enugu on 19th June 2021, the national president of Ohanaeze Youth Council(OYC), Comrade Igboayaka O. Igboayaka addressing press conference in Enugu on Monday 21st June 2021 noted that the item seven(7) in the communiqué issued at the end of their meeting lacks merit, acceptability and confidence of over 97% of youths and Ndigbo at large.
The Southeast governors/stakeholders in trying to impress the North stated: “We condemn in totality, the activities of violent secessionist groups in South East and elsewhere, we firmly proclaim that we do not support them, they do not speak for South East. The impression that South East leaders are silent over some of our youth agitators for secession is not correct. South East governors, Ohanaeze President, National Assembly members, notable leaders had come out publicly many times in the past to speak against such agitations. In order not to mismanage the unfortunate situation, South East leaders have set up a committee to engage such youths to stop and allow elders speak to address such fears.”
Comrade Igboayaka reminded the Southeast governors and stakeholders that their silence over the 50 years of marginalization, injustice and the invasion of Igbo land by killer herdsmen gave birth to the rise of many groups in Igbo land which include MASSOB, IPOB, MOBIN, Eastern People’s Congress, Biafra National Council, Zonist, Biafra Independent Movement, Biafra Nation League and a host of others.
He noted that “It’s obvious that Southeast governors and stakeholders have lost sense of reality on ground as regards the quest for self-determination by many pro-Biafra groups. Let the world understand and know the truth that Southeast governors and stakeholders are the remote cause of any perceived violence by self-determination groups in Igbo land, that is why all the self-determination groups are headed by Ndigbo, this implies that Ndigbo are in lack of credible leaders and denied of justice in Nigeria.
“The groups agitating for independence in Igbo land are like the ‘Wind’ not just the wind but a ‘tsunami wind’ that will blow and cause Southeast governors and all the stakeholders in Igbo land to summersault beyond recognition.
“If anyone move around in Igbo communities and have one-on-one interaction with the youths, you will discover that they are in pains, agony, perjury, coupled with unemployment, in fact, the youths are thirsty for violence, they want die in what they believe. Therefore, the item seven in the communiqué of Southeast governors and stakeholders is what increases this hunger for violence among the youths in Igbo land.
“Igbo youths have lost confidence and trust on the political actors of Igbo extraction. This loss of confidence and trust has resulted to directionlessness, loss of control of Igbo political actors on the youth. What is, therefore left for any genuine Igbo political actor is not to make unguided or careless statements about Self-determination quest, but to explore a means to regain the confidence of the youths on their side.
“It is unfortunate that at the era of Dim Ikemba Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, Dr. M. I Okpara and Akanu Ibiam when patriotic Igbo men walked on the surface of mother earth, such open, careless, betrayal, cowardice and unsalted statement cannot come from leaders whose sole responsibility is to shield their people through speeches and actions,” Igboayaka lamented.
“The Way Gumi approaches Bandits in the North, i advise the Southeast governors and Stakeholders to gather courage and go on One Month mentorship to the Islamic cleric, Sheik Abubakar Gumi and learn how elders Statesmen of a nationality should shield their youths and speaks for them rather than betraying them,Comrade Igboayaka Stated
He concluded that “even at the height of criminal acts by bandits in the North, Sheikh Gumi stood in the gap between the bandits and their Nigeria government. Gov. El-Rufai openly shielded Boko haram members irrespective of their height of terrorism against the Nigerian Government. But Igbo youths simply on the quest for self-determination due to series of injustice, marginalization and deliberate extra-judicial killings by the Nigerian security agents since 1970, are being rejected by those they could call their fathers.
“Ohanaeze Youth Council, in its entirety, condemn the item seven (7) in the communiqué of Southeast governors and stakeholders, as it can be likened to the event of Okonkwo and Ikemefuna in Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart.’”
Comrade Igboayaka recounted that Okonkwo killed Ikemefuna because he doesn’t want to appear weak in the presence of his fellow kinsmen, adding that “the open rejection of self-determination quest by Southeast governors and stakeholders in Enugu is because they don’t want to appear weak before the Aso-Rock Fulani cabals, while indeed they have demonstrated weakness before Igbo youths and Ndigbo at large.”
This release was signed by chukwuemeka chimerue, special assistant on Media and Publicity to OYC National President.