Apex Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide on Monday declared that Governors in the region, national assembly caucus and all the Igbo leaders are ready for meaningful dialogue with the Federal Government on a plethora of challenges facing the Igbo nation and Nigeria.
It also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that its son and leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is produced in court on Thursday, October 21, 2021 during his ongoing trial.
It insisted that the agitation and youth restiveness in the Southeast was simply a reaction or an effect or the consequences of an orchestrated alienation by the federal government over the years.
The group added that until some of the issues of obvious injustice against the Igbo were seen to have been addressed, the chains of catastrophe that threaten the corporate existence of Nigeria might continue to be inevitable.
According to the group: “it is extremely difficult to have peace amidst injustice”.
Ohanaeze’s calls came as streets in Southeast once again returned as ghost towns with residents staying indoors in continuation of the Mondays’ sit-at-home order by the IPOB.
Ohanaeze also emphasised that “we need not look elsewhere to know that IPOB is simply an exponent of Igbo collective sentiments and predicaments in our tortuous journey and an unquantifiable sacrifice for one Nigeria”.
In a statement by the spokesman of the organisation, Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, on Monday, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide said it considered the use of dialogue and political solution as the only workable option open to the presidency and indeed all men and women of goodwill that desire peace and sustainable growth for Nigeria.
The statement reminded President Buhari that his administration and his predecessors had adopted the use of dialogue in trying to resolve the issues of herdsmen, Boko Haram and Niger Delta youth relativeness.
“Ohanaeze recalls with consternation that on May 2, 2019, a Federal Government delegation led by the Minister of Interior, Abdul-Rahman Dambazau, held a meeting with national leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria(MACBAN), as part of steps to address the country’s security challenges. The meeting was hosted by the Governor of Kebbi State, Alh. Atiku Bagudu. In attendance was the then Acting Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Muhammad Adamu.
“During the time of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the Niger Delta was at the peak of youth restiveness and Yar’Adua opened a channel for dialogue and the matter was over. President Goodluck Jonathan, during his incumbency, had set up a committee commonly referred to as the Presidential Committee on Dialogue with Boko Haram, an initiative which has been sustained by President Buhari administration. As at today, Governors in the North have openly demonstrated their desire for dialogue with dreaded groups terrorizing their regions; the videos clips abound.
“Based on the foregoing, the Ohanaeze structures, including the Council of Elders, Council of Traditional Rulers, the Igbo Governors, Igbo NASS members, government officials ,Archbishops and the Clergy, stakeholders, youth and women wings, town union, etc are ready for a meaningful dialogue with the federal government of Nigeria on a plethora of challenges facing the igbo nation and Nigeria. Our core objective is a sense of belonging in a country anchored on equity, justice and fairness.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide enunciates that the guardrail of democracy is anchored on toleration, forbearance and dialogue. Good governance is merely an outcome based on the application of the democratic norms and values. And not until the right thing is done and seen to have been done, Nigeria will most likely continue in its downward spiral”, the statement read.
While calling on President Buhari to “ensure that our son, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is produced in court on Thursday, October 21, 2021”, Ohanaeze said, “This is necessary to prove to the global community that Nnamdi Kanu is not only hale and hearty but that shady judicial process is not contemplated while on trial”.
The statement also reiterated its call on the presidency to consider dialogue as a panacea to peace; insisting that the jackboot approach to the IPOB uprising would rather aggravate the precarious situation.
It noted that military and violent means to solve the national question are bound to fail as it leads to further national fractionalisation, anarchy and eventual or inevitable disintegration, as in all empires or multinational states or countries.