The Chairman of state Presidents of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, a socio-cultural organisation, in seven Igbo speaking state, Dr. Chris Eluemunoh, on Tuesday [May 12] warned against any attempt to “further marginalise” the Igbo in Nigeria. Eluemunoh, who spoke with newsmen in Awka, the Anambra State capital, said such attempt would be greeted with a strong move for self-determination by the Igbo.
For him, Ndigbo had such concluded on such option, waiting for the “opportune time” to use the joker. Dr. Chris said already, the United Nations had invited some Igbo elders to hear them out about their demand for a sovereign state for the Igbo in June. He said former National President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, would be leading the Igbo delegation to the United Nations in June.
Eluomunoh, who was speaking against the backdrop of speculation that the incoming government of President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, might marginalise the Igbo because the people of the South-East voted against him in the just concluded general elections. He said some time last year, the African Union had also granted an Igbo delegation a similar audience in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Ohanaeze boss said the best path the Buhari administration would toe would be to discuss with Igbo leaders on how to chart a viable course for the country. Eluomunoh added, “Buhari must give us one additional state to put us at par with our other brothers. He must also implement the report of the National Conference. If he turns his back to that report, he is turning his back to the unity of Nigeria. If he kills the report, he is killing the unity of Nigeria.”
He admitted that the change that came to the country after the last general elections was a welcome development, given the fact that the Peolpes Democratic Party had stayed on the stage for a long time. The Ohanaeze chief opined that there would be no real change in Nigeria if there “is no structural change” in the country.
Eluemuno disowned the Chief Ralph Obioha-led Ohanaeze Caretaker Committee, which visited Buhari and canvassed for appointments for the Igbos, dismissing report of any conflict in the organisation.